The Shoe Snob Blog

April 15, 2013

Written by , Posted in News

My Recommended Shoe Cobbler

Part of being a good shoe brand is offering your customers a place in which they can confidently take their shoes to once they start to need new parts put on, or simply want to make some adjustments to them, such as putting on toe taps. Most brands in England offer this refurbishment service by sending the shoes back to their factory. This is clearly the best option that one can do, however, it is also the most expensive and takes the longest time. For some it’s worth the cost and time, for others it’s not. Now, as I am simply a ‘designer’ who works with a factory that is not my own, I do not have the ability to simply send them back for my customers as this is not something that the factory would want to partake in. That being, as a shoe designer and also as the persona The Shoe Snob, I have been wanting to find a good cobbler here in London that I could refer not only my customers to but also all of you, my readers. The only difficult part was actually finding one, as believe it or not, in a country that is known for great shoemaking, I can tell you without insult, that it is not a country of good cobblers.

Before
Before
After, all below are ‘after’ too

What you are seeing here is a pair of my Septieme Largeur Miro’s, probably my most used pair of shoes, as it just might be my favorite loafer. The soles were not really in need of a resole, but ever since I had the toe tap put on by another cobbler that I had problems with, it started letting water in every time it rained (which has unfortunately been a lot this year). I therefore haven’t worn them in a long time and to be honest, I have missed them. That being, I thought that these would be the best option to get done. Taking them to the cobbler, Tony’s Quality Shoe Repair, I asked him to replace the soles/heels and put on new toe taps. Now, as you may know, Septieme Largeur shoes have closed channel soles, so in theory, one would want to have the same construction replaced. However, for the sake of keeping things simple, as most of you may not have closed channel shoes, I decided to take another route. Now, while Tony can do a closed channel resole if necessary (having to actually cut the channel by hand), what he can also do is a nice midway between a closed and open channel sole. That being, he will open the channel but then push as much leather over the slit as possible to make it more ‘hidden.’ Let’s call it the hidden channel. (see below)

What I like about Tony’s shoe repair is the fact that not only is he a trusted shoe repair to other companies in the shoe industry, but more so his range of skills. Like I said before, he can do a closed channel sole if necessary. He can also rip off a leather sole and add a thin rubber sole, still goodyear welted should you wish. He does proper toe taps and most importantly he can work quickly if absolutely necessary. But remember, good work takes time, so it’s always best to allow time if you want the best results. And while a shoe repair, as I have said before, might not be as good as sending back to the factory (not because he can’t be, but because the factory has more time, more facilities and the original last to mount the shoes back on), for me, Tony’s is the best possible option for brands like myself that don’t have their own factory to send shoes back to. That being, for all of you purchasing my shoes or are simply people who are looking for a good shoe repair, my recommended cobbler here in London is:

Tony’s Quality Shoe Repair
9 Crown Passage (just off St. James, SW1)
Tel: 020 7839 5295
Mobile: 07557 055 560
What’s even better is for all of you that visit him and mention The Shoe Snob, you will get 10% off all resoles!!
* Please Note: To obtain the 10% discount you must mention The Shoe Snob on drop off. If you try to mention it upon collection the 10% will not be valid *

  • How much did it cost for your shoes to be resoled? And how much would it be for closed channelled shoes? I have some Cheaney shoes from their Imperial line and it will be expensive to have them sent to the factory.
    Thanks

    • The owner of the repair shop wished that I did not discuss this on my site, so if you want you can email me or simply call them….sorry

  • Mikhael

    Hi Justin,

    I hesitated to buy the Miro (in brown or blue) but i what see here… it will be my next shoes and first loafer !

  • snapper

    Justin,

    Thanks for that information, it’s well worth knowing.

    Good to see you again last week and your shoe collection looked really great.

    Best regards,
    Snapper

    • No problem my friend!! Thanks for the kind words with regards to the shoe line. It always a pleasure catching up. Will look forward to the next time.

      Take care

      Justin

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for recommending a good cobbler in London. Just one quick question. Do you think know if Tony can do toe taps with screws instead of nails?

    Thanks, Patrick.

    • No problem!! Yes he could if he could source them. This is the problem. No one seems to know where to get them in this country and I have not been able to find them myself. I know that in France, they all use screws, as did Stefano Bemer. It’s just finding them that is the problem. If you can assist, I am sure that Tony, as well as myself, would be appreciative!

      Justin

  • Simon

    I have a pair of old Loakes which have a slight split and require a patch would your recommended cobbler do the job?

    • TheShoeSnob

      sorry Simon, but I cannot speak for him on that one. You would have to call him

  • Brixton Bonbon

    Can a cobbler do anything when you’ve scraped some of the surface of the leather right off? is there some kind of filler one can use?
    Nick

    • TheShoeSnob

      there is nothing you can do to fix it, but they might be able to hide it by burning wax on….

  • ShivaYash

    Hi, just gave Tony my favourite pair of C&J shoes for steel toe taps. I wanted them screwed into place but he said getting the screws is difficult, and he used serrated nails, which is probably the best of both. Many thanks for the advice!

  • James

    Hi Justin. I have some black staining on lower part of the vamp of some mid-tan Church’s loafers. Could to be caused by sweat or damp. I am thinking of darkening the whole upper. Is this something Tony could do for me?

    • TheShoeSnob

      dear James, sorry for the late reply. I am unsure to be honest, it would be something that you would have to ask Tony.

  • NeilG

    I had a pair of Cheaney’s badly repaired by Timpsons, does Tony do mail order repairs? I live near Bath so a bit far to travel for shoe repair. Unless anyone can recommend a good cobbler in this area.

    • TheShoeSnob

      Yes he does, I just asked him. He said to call for details, number listed above

  • Jock Kennedy

    Tony is the best in the business – by far! http://www.londonshoeshine.com

  • Benbg

    Does anyone know a good cobbler in Montreal? Thanks

  • john henwood

    For those in the area a top class cobbler in Oxford is Stacey Weeks of the ‘Country Cobbler’ in Sunninghill village between Oxford and Abingdon.The cost is reasonable as he works from home now having sold his very busy ‘Oxford Cobbler’ to Timpson who he regards as unskilled butchers. I can guarantee the quality and service.

    • James Acworth

      Do you still use Stacey? I can’t find the business online. If still active, please send a phone number. Thanks

  • Oliver

    I would be interested to know how these have worn and aged since the resoling

    • TheShoeSnob

      quite well considering I gave them to a friend who wears them all of the time and is still going strong

  • Andy Milner

    Try Lutterworth Cobblers for Highest class shoe and boot repairs i assure you they are the finest repairs you will see…not just leather soles wich are amazing they take as much pride in every repair

  • Giuseppe

    I need to repair some shoes today … i need it for tomorrow … do you know where I can go?

    • TheShoeSnob

      sorry wouldn’t know….don’t think you will find anyone who will do a sole in one day….maybe Timpsons but I don’t recommend them

  • TheShoeSnob

    don’t think that those are really going to be salvageable. sorry

  • Julian van Heeswijck

    Hi Justin, would you know if it’s possible to install indented toe taps on on shoe which been worn a couple of times already and thus have a worn sole or do they have to be new unworn soles?

    • TheShoeSnob

      Yes you can….dont need to be new

  • Docs

    How were the shoes repaired? Did he put new cork and welt in as well? And the price?

  • P. Mc

    Hoxton Shoe Repairs…… London N.1. Never a problem…. Louboutin have an account with them.
    First class Customer Experience…..Can repair anything in leather.

    • waldgänger

      They put shoeshine on a pair of black cordovans that I left with them to get some toe caps fixed… not nice…

  • TedFloryd

    If you are ever in Stockholm, Sweden and in need of a “cobbler”, go to “Far & Son Skomakeri” on Borgmästargatan 7.
    The name means “Father and Son Shoemaker”, and that is what it is. They also do dry cleaning, tailoring and copy keys, but the real business is actual bespoke shoemaking. But as not a lot of people want to spend £500-1000 and up on a pair of shoes nowadays, they do the rest to get some steady cash flow.

    I grew up in the same block, from 1979, and even if I can’t say exactly how long, they’ve been there for as long as I can remember.

    He can do anything you want, some things cost, of course, but you won’t get robbed and you will definitely get at least what you pay for.

    It’s off the beaten track so to say, but also in the most beautiful part of town, even if it’s gotten overly hip lately, adopting the name “SoFo”, as a play on SoHo. But after a visit to the shop, continue up the street and visit the beautiful park Vita bergen, and see the church of Sofia (where I was wed) and then go west a few hundred meters to end up in the area with the most pubs and restaurants per capita in Sweden!