The profession of cobbling and shoe repair has been around for thousands of years, nearly since the beginning of humankind. In fact, it was once a popular career choice. The team at Sofia Shoe Repair Service in Rochester, NY, provides some insight into the fascinating history of shoe repair.
Until the 18th century, shoes were made by hand, making them more costly but also more durable. The earliest shoes were made of animal skins, incorporating both flesh and fur. Leather was invented shortly after that, at which point sandals became a popular item in some areas. Because most people wore one pair for several years, the cobbling profession was in high demand. Most cobblers were local, serving their villages and communities and meeting individual customers’ requirements.
Gradually, shoemakers and, thus, shoe cobblers, began manufacturing and working with products of a similar make and design. In the early days, shoe repairs could take several days or even weeks. In the mid- to late 1700s, the budding Industrial Revolution and the invention of steam engines meant footwear began being mass-manufactured, resulting in the decline of the cobbling profession. However, the Napoleonic wars starting in 1803 led to an increased demand for footwear. By 1810, about 250,000 British soldiers needed boots. This requirement resulted in some further mechanization of the boot and shoe-making process. By the 1850s, factories were the predominant producers of footwear.
However, cobblers continue to play a vital role. Many high-end designers and quality manufacturers still turn out hand-made goods, which require cobbling to last through the years. Even those who purchase mass-manufactured footwear turn to cobblers to repair their shoes. In fact, shoe repair professionals work on millions of mass-made shoes each year.
If you’re a Monroe County resident in need of shoe repair, look no further than Sofia Shoe Repair Service. Specializing in shoe resoling, redyeing, and repairs, they’re the area’s most trusted cobblers. Call (585) 244-5907 to speak with a friendly staff member. Or, visit their website.