Originally Posted by RIDER
The repair shop in NYC is 'Shoe Service Plus' and they are very good. Specialty is ladies shoes, but do work on mens equally as well. I sent them a custom remake of a 70's zipper boot for a customer to have Cuban Heels done and they did it just the way it should be. However, there used to be a family operation in DC with a spot around Farragutt North Metro stop (forgot the name, but was Italian I believe). Are they still there? They used to be very good as well. There is another point to be made here. Shoes are not made as they once were - even the highly regarded factories are using materials and techniques that would have not been employed years ago. We have a local guy who does most of my work and he inherited the shop from his father. He has been repairing shoes for many, many years and shakes his head every time I go back in the shop as he shows me examples of constructions and leathers that make it very hard to repair in the 'proper' way. Shortages in fine materials are probably mostly to blame, and a manufacturer can't control that, but many times there is only so much a cobbler can do, at the price most will pay. One example he deals with every day is heel lifts. Used to be a good shoe's heel base was built up of good quality (i.e. consistent) leather and was an easy and common job to remove the top-lift and replace while the customer waited - usually during lunch break. Now, you peel the top-lift off and it pulls half the heel base with it as they are using 'paper' layers that are mainly glue. 'Paper' meaning cheap, thin leather - splits that used to be discarded. He had a pair of Alden shoes yesterday he showed me where they had run the stitch so close to the edge of the welt around the toe that it is virtually impossible to stitch a new sole on. There is as much a chance of blowing out the welt as getting the job right. Now this customer thinks he has a great shoe - rightfully so - but what can the cobbler do? He explains the situation and the customer walks out thinking the repair guy just can't do the work, he's no good. So, it's not always the repair people. It's a combination of declining manufacturing quality, decreased customer awareness of quality and what is reasonable, tremendous decrease in availability of quality materials, while prices increase every season which makes the general customer that much more demanding of the product. It aint easy...
This is interesting and rather telling.
So how do makers like Edward Green and Silvano Lattanzi utilize efficently old resoling methods in relation to a presumed decrease in quality?