Yes, cobblers are a real thing. They are not just storybook characters. In a world where people just throw things away to get factory-made items, cobblers are becoming a rare breed, but they still exist. If you have a nice pair of shoes, getting them repaired might cost less than replacing them.
Many people go to tailors to have clothes “taken in”, generally if they’ve recently lost a good deal of weight. Can a cobbler do something similar? Rarely does weight loss affect shoe size (It can make them a little less wide, but the length is constant.) but if you got a pair of secondhand shoes you might think about it.
Table of Contents
- What Can A Cobbler Do To Shoes?
- Can A Cobbler Make Shoes Smaller?
- Can A Cobbler Make Sandals Smaller?
- Can A Cobbler Stretch Shoes?
- Can A Cobbler Fix Scuffed Leather?
- Can A Cobbler Change Heel Height?
- Can A Cobbler Replace An Entire Heel?
- Can A Cobbler Fix Shoe Straps?
- Will Cobbler Clean Shoes?
- How Much Do Cobblers Charge?
- Do You Tip A Cobbler?
- What Kind Of Shoes Can Be Repaired?
- Is It Better For Shoes To Be Tight Or Loose?
- Where Should Your Toes Be In Shoes?
- Is It OK To Wear A Half Size Bigger Shoe?
- How Do You Tell If Shoes Are Too Big For You?
- Effects Of Wearing Shoes That Are Too Big
- How To Fix Shoes That Are Too Big?
- Do You Need Bigger Shoes For Insoles?
- Can You Put Two Insoles In Shoes?
- How To Fix Sneakers That Are Too Big?
- How To Fix Sandals That Are Too Big?
- How To Fix Open Toe Shoes That Are Too Big?
- How To Fix Heel Gap?
- How To Fix Shoes That Gap On The Sides?
- How To Fix Loose Loafers?
What Can A Cobbler Do To Shoes?
Cobblers first and foremost repair shoes. Sometimes a small repair of shoes can cost less than a replacement. Many cobblers are small business owners so helping them by giving them your business is helping the community.
A cobbler can also do preventive care to keep your shoes from being damaged to start with. And if your shoes are not quite the right size a cobbler can help you out.
Can A Cobbler Make Shoes Smaller?
Not quite. Shoes can’t quite be taken in the way clothes can be. What they can do is put in padding, heel grips, or insoles so that they feel a bit tighter.
Can A Cobbler Make Sandals Smaller?
They can probably help here. The fit of sandals can be adjusted by tightening or loosening the strap. Making sandals fit a small foot can be as easy as using an awl to punch an extra hole in the strap. If they are completely made up of leather, they can be shrunk some.
Can A Cobbler Stretch Shoes?
This is a common task cobbler takes. They have machines than can stretch shoes out up to a whole size. You can do it yourself at home with a manual shoe stretcher, but the cobbler’s job will be more reliable. The fee could be anywhere from fifteen to twenty-five dollars. Boots may cost a little bit extra.
Can A Cobbler Fix Scuffed Leather?
Most scuffs can be buffed out. A lot of this depends on just how bad the damage is plus the softness and color of the leather. Dark, firm leather is easier to fix up than soft, light-colored leather.
Can A Cobbler Change Heel Height?
This is tricky. Heels can be made a little shorter and capped with a new tip. However, this is not recommended. Most heeled shoes are built so that the footbed is at an angle that accommodates a certain heel height. Messing around with it makes the shoes uncomfortable and they just will not look right. Making the heels taller just can’t be done.
Can A Cobbler Replace An Entire Heel?
Heel tips can be easily replaced. The entire heel is a bit more effort but a fairly common task. It can even be replaced with a wider or narrower heel than it originally had.
Can A Cobbler Fix Shoe Straps?
This is quite doable. A cobbler can easily tighten or lengthen straps so that they fit just right.
Will Cobbler Clean Shoes?
They will. A cobbler can not only clean but condition your shoes. The cleaning technique will vary based on material. Your shoes will both look and smell better.
How Much Do Cobblers Charge?
This can depend on so many variables. What is the exact job? How bad is the damage? Do you need the whole sole or just half? Do both shoes need work? Where you live is also going to affect just how much you spend.
It is going to cost more to fix your shoes in New York City than Texarkana. If the price of the repair is less than half the price of new shoes you should go for the repair.
Do You Tip A Cobbler?
For the most part, no. They make enough off the payment for repairs. If you see a shoemaker regularly, a little cash as a Christmas gift would be nice. This can vary from one part of the world to another. If there is a tip jar out in the store it might be nice to toss in a little something. (The beauty of a tip jar is no one knows exactly who put in how much.)
What Kind Of Shoes Can Be Repaired?
Leather and faux leather shoes are easy to resole. Some rubber bottomed shoes can also be resoled. Dress shoes in particular are designed to be repaired if needed. Heels are the easiest to fix.
Is It Better For Shoes To Be Tight Or Loose?
Shoes should fit. Period. Many people are used to loose-fitting shoes because growing up their parents got them shoes to “grow into”. There should be just enough room for you to squeeze your index finger between your heel and the back of the shoe. No more and no less.
Where Should Your Toes Be In Shoes?
There needs to be about half an inch between the end of your longest toe and the end of the front of the shoe. This should be about the width of your index finger. If you have large hands, about the width of your pinkie.
Is It OK To Wear A Half Size Bigger Shoe?
If your feet spread out during the day and if the shoes have an adjustable fit (e.g. laces) then it may be acceptable to go up half a size. Generally, if the brand of shoes you need doesn’t have half sizes available it is better to go up than down.
How Do You Tell If Shoes Are Too Big For You?
If clear gaps between your foot and the side of the shoe are plainly visible, then your shoes are too wide. Sit down and feel for your largest toe inside your shoe. You should feel a small gap in front of your toe. If you can press down the top of your shoe all the way down to the footbed in the front of your toe, then the shoe is too big.
Effects Of Wearing Shoes That Are Too Big
- Shoes that are too big can give you blisters.
- It also misplaces the arch support which can lead to bruising.
- Shoes that are too big also present a tripping hazard.
How To Fix Shoes That Are Too Big?
Insoles usually are for comfort or posture but they make a good space filler if your shoe is just a bit on the big side. This will work for most shoes including high heels and open toes.
You can sew an elastic band in the back of the shoes to make them fit a bit tighter. Using shoe fillers to fill your too-big shoes can work if you are not going to do too much walking or anything athletic. This only works with flats, boots, and closed-toe shoes.
Do You Need Bigger Shoes For Insoles?
Shoe inserts or foot orthotics do indeed take up some of the shoe space that is intended for your feet. If you really need inserts or orthotics, you will require a roomier shoe. Without this extra room, the inserts won’t function properly and your shoes just will not fit correctly.
Can You Put Two Insoles In Shoes?
While it is good to have a few inserts for multiple shoes, just in case you forget to remove them, you should wear just one set of insoles at a time. Two insoles will raise your heel up too much causing an unnatural arch in the foot. It will cause more problems than it will solve.
How To Fix Sneakers That Are Too Big?
Sneakers have laces so you can usually tighten them up for a closer fit. You may also try wearing extra thick socks. Of course, this solution only works in cold weather. If they are leather you may be able to shrink them with water. This will not work as well with canvas.
How To Fix Sandals That Are Too Big?
With sandals, too big is better than too small. However, too big sandals are clumsy to walk in and present a tripping hazard. The easiest way to make them fit better is to tighten the strap all the way. Add another notch if you need to. Insoles and heel grips also work. A ball of the foot cushion may be all you need.
How To Fix Open Toe Shoes That Are Too Big?
You can’t stuff the toe, of course, but you could use heel grips. An insert can also take up some room. A little double stick tape in the middle of the sole can work if you’re wearing stockings.
How To Fix Heel Gap?
There are rubber shoe strips made specifically for this problem. You can layer them until the shoe fits better. You can also use them with insoles. Some insoles will cover the entire foot and some will fit just under the balls of your feet. Of course, it is best to get something that fits to start with.
How To Fix Shoes That Gap On The Sides?
Here’s a method that works if you have narrow feet and your shoe has laces. Get a pair of shoes that have two sets of eyelets on each side and always attempt to lace through the ones that are furthest away from the tongue.
This aids in the closure of both sides of the shoe, bringing them together more tightly across the bridge of the foot. A cushioned insole can help with stabilizing your foot and make the fit snugger.
How To Fix Loose Loafers?
A gel insert is recommended. If your feet sweat a lot you might want to get a suede insert. A heel liner on the back of the inside of the loafer can prevent heel slippage.
You can also keep a heel in place by taking the backing off a small foot cushion and placing it where the ball of your foot touches your loafer. If all else fails, you can always put on a pair of thick, textured socks.
The tales of Hans Christian Andersen often feature shoes, shoemakers (and people with foot problems like The Steadfast Tin Soldier and The Little Mermaid.), and tailors. His father was a shoemaker, his mother a washerwoman and he was briefly apprenticed as a tailor before he moved to Copenhagen so he was likely writing what he knew.
Cobblers for a long time were the simple everyman to feature in folk tales. People today have nearly forgotten the cobbler. Still, it’s good to have the services of one of your shoes aren’t the right size.
Most shoes, regardless of type, can be made to fit a little tighter with inserts, grips, or just wearing thick socks. Because thick socks can’t be worn with dress shoes, you may want to use double-sided tape, the runway model’s best friend.
When it comes right down to it, it is best to get a shoe that fits your size. Making a shoe smaller is difficult but there are things you can do the make it fit a little more securely.