PALM DESERT – Ian Platt is a fourth generation “cobbler” or shoe repairman. More and more people are dropping their shoes off at his shop in Bermuda Dunes instead of buying new, which can be a big difference in price.
“You can buy a shoe for $20 a pair but the majority of the shoes we get are high end. A lot of El Paseo, Manolos, well worth getting done. Easily a third of the price. Whatever…everything is going to be cheaper than a new pair of shoes.”
He’s seeing everything from Manolo Blahnik’s to Ferragamo’s. Customers we spoke with say it makes sense financially. Not to mention they love their shoes.
“Rather than throw them away or giving them away we decided to have them stretched, which was the most economical thing to do,” said Amelia.
“You can pay anything from $60 to $80 to $700 or more depending on what you get, but if you spend that kind of money on a pair of shoes you hate to see them be lost to use. If you just take care of them and put new soles and heels on them when you need them it’s a really economical thing to do,” said Tim Burleson.
Ian is part of dying breed. But, he hopes these tough times will keep his profession alive.
“A lot of people are just finding me, had no need for a shoe repairer before. Now, they’re just finding me…Here it’s hard. But yeah, it’s a dying trade all over the world really, but the good thing is people always need shoes,” Platt says.
For more information on shoe services, visit the Shoe Service Institute of America website at www.ssia.info.