MAK­ING SHOES LAST COB­BLERS HELP SUS­TAIN­ABIL­ITY RE­PAIRS

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - TRADES+SERVICES - Janita Singh man­ly­cob­blers.com.au

Tra­di­tion­ally, cob­blers made shoes as well as fix­ing them but th­ese days they mainly fo­cus on re­pair and restora­tion. Cob­blers have been around for cen­turies, mak­ing it one of the old­est trades in the world. His­tor­i­cally, peo­ple bought shoes from this per­son. In ad­di­tion to resol­ing, to­day’s cob­blers can also per­form stretch­ing, resur­fac­ing, re­shap­ing, re­heel­ing and other re­pairs. “I was trained as a qual­i­fied shoe­maker and un­der­stand the anatomy of footwear from in­cep­tion to fin­ished prod­uct,” Nick Pas­cuzzo said. While he doesn’t make shoes, he could fix many footwear prob­lems “in­clud­ing spe­cialised ar­eas of or­tho­pe­dic and welted con­struc­tion re­pairs and al­ter­ations”. A COB­BLER’S trade may seem like a dy­ing one but Nick Pas­cuzzo begs to dif­fer.

“While there is a per­ceived con­cep­tion of liv­ing in a throw­away so­ci­ety, you would be sur­prised at the strong de­mand for re­pair­ing shoes,’’ Mr Pas­cuzzo, owner of Manly Cob­blers, said.

“The cur­rent and nec­es­sary fo­cus on sus­tain­abil­ity re­ally makes peo­ple want to make things last as long as pos­si­ble. Sus­tain­abil­ity may be a per­ceived mod­ern con­cept yet cob­blers have been mak­ing things last for cen­turies.”

Mr Pas­cuzzo said peo­ple had an emo­tional con­nec­tion to their shoes.

“If you have a pair that is com­fort­able and good for your feet then it is so ben­e­fi­cial both for your health and eco­nom­i­cally to pro­long their us­abil­ity,” he said.

Mr Pas­cuzzo has been in the trade since he was 14, learn­ing from a mas­ter shoe­maker from Italy.

“Shoes re­ally do tell a story … I am in the en­vi­able po­si­tion of hear­ing sto­ries from all walks of life,” he said.

“One in par­tic­u­lar is a gen­tle­man who owned the same pair of RM Wil­liams boots, which he re­peat­edly had re­paired for 35 years. A fine ex­am­ple of some­one who loves their shoes and the qual­ity which RM Wil­liams holds in or­der to last that long.”

He had also no­ticed how younger peo­ple wanted to ed­u­cate them­selves on shoe care and main­tain footwear.

Pic­ture: ANNIKA EN­DER­BORG

Cob­bler Nick Pas­cuzzo has started a pickup and drop-off ser­vice to keep the trade alive.

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