Walk an extra mile — or two, Mr. Shoeman

The average shoe repairman toils far from the limelight. As Americans are adopting a more disposable society, the current state of the economy may be bringing back the business of shoe repair in a big way.

“It does seem like it’s up over last year,” said Bob Boyer at Mr. Cobbler Inc. shoe repair shop, 2493 U.S. Highway 6&50. “Normally, in an election year this business slows down a little bit because everybody’s hesitant. But with the economy, it is pulling in a little bit better.”

Carson Park, who co-owns The Shoeman, 449 Colorado Ave., with his father, said he has seen an increase of about 10 percent to 20 percent of customers bringing in shoes to repair during the past two months.

Business is to normal at The Shoeman after construction along Colorado Avenue downtown, and they have 120 pairs in the shop right now awaiting repair, Park said.

Mike Collett, the shoe repairman at the business, said he has noticed more of the name-brand and “gentlemen’s” shoes being brought in for repair, which might indicate people are looking to get more for their money by having high-dollar shoes more frequently repaired.

About a year and a half ago, Collett said he started seeing major fashion magazines such as Vogue and GQ promoting shoe repair along with advertisements for high-dollar shoes. At the time, shoe prices were going up.

“They’re now talking about having them repaired,” Collett said. “There was a time when they were not.”

Repairs can run the gamut of prices, starting at $5, he said. Sole guards can usually be bought for $18 to $35 a pair, and shoe repairmen suggest gaurds for high-end shoes as soon as the shoe purchase is made.


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