How Do I Become a Shoe Cobbler?

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  • Written By: Jeremy Laukkonen
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  • Last Modified Date: 01 April 2020
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There are a few different ways you can become a shoe cobbler, depending on factors such as your finances, and the availability of work in your area. Some colleges and vocational schools have shoe repair or design programs, while others offer that type of training through their fashion design departments. If you can find a college or vocational school that offers a program in cobbling or cordwaining, that is one way to learn all of the necessary skills. The other way to become a shoe cobbler is to find an experienced cobbler to work for as an apprentice. If you are able to locate that type of position, you should be able to receive on-the-job training.

Cobblers are skilled craftsmen who have historically been responsible for repairing, and maintaining shoes. They use a variety of tools and machines to perform functions such as resoling, patching, stretching, and fitting. Many types of commercially produced shoes cannot be repaired, or else are not worth repairing, but there is still a demand for the services of cobblers in the modern world. In addition to traditional repairs and modifications, modern cobbler shops often provide other related services such as shoe shining.


There is no one career path you must follow to become a shoe cobbler, though there are some options you may want to consider. If you have the financial means to attend a college or vocational school, and you can locate one with an appropriate program of study, then that is one way to get a job as a shoe cobbler. Schools that offer training in cobbling and cordwaining sometimes have separate shoemaking departments, while others have classes or programs within a general fashion design department. This is typically the best path to choose if you think you may want to be a shoe designer, or cordwainer, in addition to a skilled cobbler.

Colleges and vocational schools can provide you with valuable knowledge and experience, but obtaining that type of higher education is not strictly necessary. Another way to become a shoe cobbler is to simply go to work at a shoe repair shop. Some cobblers require their employees to have a high school education, while others are more concerned with work ethics than diplomas. When looking for a job at a cobbler's store, it is important to let any potential employers know that you are interested in learning the trade. That may help you find a cobbler who will be willing to train you on the job as an apprentice.


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Post 3

@bythewell - I wouldn't worry too much. There are definitely courses out there that people can take on how to repair shoes and how to make new ones. If you look online you can find quite a few people making shoes to sell and many of them will offer to fix the shoe once it wears out.

I think it's a shame that people buy cheap shoes so often now, but I can see why. I don't think it's cheaper in the long run to get more expensive shoes. It might be better for the environment and more comfortable for your feet though.

Post 2

@Ana1234 - This is one of those jobs that I kind of take for granted, but now I'm a bit worried it might disappear one day. Decent modern shoes do need to be resoled eventually. You can wear the right pair for years, or even indefinitely if you take care of them and go in to get them re-heeled when necessary.

I've found it's actually cheaper in the long run to get a more expensive pair from a good shop and then just take them to the cobbler every couple of years (depending on how often you wear them of course).

Now I'm a bit worried because most of the cobblers I know are getting on in years. I hope that

there are some younger people waiting in the wings to take up the position. I know that people are willing to work if they can, but it seems like such an obscure job not that many people would know about it to even train for it.
Post 1

I would go into a few cobblers in my area and ask them how they went about getting the job. I imagine most of the time there is either a particular course that people do, or there is an apprenticeship system.

Bear in mind that if there is an apprenticeship system, then you really should be polite and friendly when asking your questions, because your future might depend on making friends with the person you're talking to.

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