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Toronto Cobblers

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by slaxer, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. TRINI

    TRINI Senior member

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    So because a cobbler doesn't use the soles you want, they're not a decent cobbler?

    :facepalm:
     
  2. suitforcourt

    suitforcourt Senior member

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    He has never even heard of this brand, let alone use them.

    Do you know of any cobbler that uses JR soles?
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2016
  3. kasper007

    kasper007 Senior member

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    I don't know of any local cobbler who uses JR soles so I either do like you and use B. Nelson shoes in NYC (i'm there a lot so often able to drop and ask for a quick turnaround to I don't have to deal with shipping). Otherwise, I have a guy in Montreal that a few people on here have used who does probably better work, but it still involves shipping. The guy uses traditional methods (ie. he will keep the shoe lasted for about a week when resoling) so a quick turnaround isn't possible if you quickly visit, but the work is truly outstanding and worth the wait.
    http://egide.ca/home.html
     
  4. suitforcourt

    suitforcourt Senior member

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    Thank you! I will stick with B Nelson and try this Montreal fella as well.
     
  5. suitforcourt

    suitforcourt Senior member

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    Thanks again, Kasper.

    I'm sending a pair of Florsheim Kenmors to Laurent for recrafting. Bought them on Ebay for $10! (plus shipping and tax).

    Here are some "pre-pics." As everyone can see, the body is still intact, no major scuffs, tears or other damage visible to the eye. The soles definitely need to be replaced. Even the interior is in great condition. These are made in India, and likely the JR package is "too expensive", but what the hell, I want to keep these shoes, so might as well invest.

    I will put up the "post-pics" when Laurent returns the finished product. Cost will be $250 for the JR package (includes return postage) but I will have to pay to send to him. So total is likely $280ish, which is about the same price point as B Nelson or Cesar's Shoe Repair in NYC (factoring in exchange rate and postage).

    Can't wait.[​IMG]

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  6. suitforcourt

    suitforcourt Senior member

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    The final product:

    1. Took 10 days (as Laurent promised);

    2. Soles are stiff and needs some wearing in;

    3. Body was definitely pulled over a last again as it feels tighter and stiffer;

    4. Soles look beautiful. Will walk in them tomorrow;

    5. Total costs was about $265. Happy to keep a fellow Canadian in business!

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  7. suitforcourt

    suitforcourt Senior member

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  8. gj555

    gj555 Senior member

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    There are cobblers in the GTA that use JR soles. I have seen reviews and/or websites of a few in Oakville and Burlington. I was also buying some shoe polish recently from this cobbler in Maple http://www.soleperfectionshoerepair.ca/ and he showed me that they use JR soles. So, they do exist. But, the question is how good is the cobbler's work and not what sole does he use. I think the interesting thing is that none of the most highly recommended cobblers (Nick's, etc.) tend to use it. Of course, the question then becomes how much better is JR from the non JR branded high quality soles used by these cobblers and is this difference a good enough reason to not make me want to have soles repaired locally?


    I just tried out a cobbler in the GTA that I have never been to before (does not use JR) to do a sole replacement on an AE shoe and was pleased with the results. I will try and post a review with some photos shortly.
     
    suitforcourt likes this.
  9. gj555

    gj555 Senior member

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    I had been stalling on repairing shoes that needed new soles. After a year or so of inaction, I had 1 AE, 1 Tyrwhitt (made in UK) and 1 Dacks (made in UK by Cheaney) all in need of new soles. Not wanting to drive downtown or send my shoes out of town, I began looking at online reviews of cobblers just north of Toronto and decided to go with one of them.

    I decided on Family Shoe Repair on Yonge street in Aurora to test a pair. That's right, they are in Aurora :) Reading lots of reviews on google and an article on Boris, the owner, I decided I had nothing to lose and brought my shoes to them for repair.

    When you walk in, there are over a dozen different models of men's shoes on display. These are shoes that the shop made and there is a sign indicating they make men's dress shoes. While I didn't take any photos of the shoes, I will next time I am there. The shoes appear to be well made (particularly the toe boxes) and if I had not just purchased a pair of Loakes on sale elsewhere, I may have taken the plunge. Boris, the owner made a point out of telling me they make them onsite.

    As for the repair work, he uses a German made outsole. I don't know who makes the soles but it looks to be distributed and private labelled by M&B per this link http://us11.campaign-archive2.com/?u=172883d7be16f94a4c6b8c557&id=3b119282c0 The name seems pretty obvious in terms of what they are trying to copy :) (using KR instead of JR). I asked about JR soles. He says, the soles he uses are German Super Prime leather and he considers them equivalent. I don't know if they can source JR soles but he did have one sample JR sole in the back. He brought it out to compare it to what he uses.

    Overall, I think they did a good job and would highly recommend him and his team. When I went to pick the shoes up, Boris told me that they replaced the welt as well. He brought me to the work room behind the counter to show me how they do the welts. One of the cobblers was hand sewing a welt to a shoe. He was using a very pointy tool to poke a hole and then he would thread it with needle and thread. As for the outsole, it is attached by sewing machine.
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    I also brought in a pair of Loake shoes to have the heel repaired (the rubber edge on the combination heel came off). But, given how hard I am on my soles, I decided to have topys put on. This is the first time I ever had topys put on but the job looks well done to my untrained eye.

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    I was happy with the first resole so I brought him a second pair to do. I will post the results when they are ready. My suggestion is to call before you pick up your shoes. He is very busy so it can take longer than originally indicated.
     
    suitforcourt likes this.
  10. suitforcourt

    suitforcourt Senior member

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    Thanks for the great review! What was the price of recraft?
     
  11. gj555

    gj555 Senior member

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    Resole which also includes a light cleaning and conditioning of the upper is $125. I needed some extra work done to stiffen the shoe at the back so my cost was $30 more.
     
  12. suitforcourt

    suitforcourt Senior member

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    That seems to be within the market range.

    How do you find the KR sole? I really like JR, as I've recrafted 2 pairs.

    But I am open to other options, and want to support GTA cobblers. The pics aren't clear. But is the stitch protected by a grooved channel? Thanks.
     
  13. suitforcourt

    suitforcourt Senior member

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    And does Boris use plastic, or wood lasts?
     
  14. suitforcourt

    suitforcourt Senior member

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  15. gj555

    gj555 Senior member

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    Yes. They look to be made for MB by a German leather company.

    As for the soles themselves, they seem to be fine. Comfortable and I don't find them stiff at all. My only experience with a JR sole is on a pair of shell AEs that I don't wear very much so I can't really compare. But, I am not overly picky. I would rather repair something locally with good material than send it away to repair (even if the material is better), especially when these KR branded soles are better than the original soles on the shoes. I should add that the heal he uses is Italian made.

    The channel is grooved. It is deeper at the front of the shoe where the stitching would wear our quicker than towards the back. If you bring shoes to try with him, you can certainly mention the way you want grooves to protect the stitching if you are concerned. The sense I get is that they are capable of anything.

    As for lasts, I don't know. Not something that I was concerned with. No way I would even know how to tell the difference in a finished product. When I go pick up my second pair of shoes, I can ask.
     
  16. suitforcourt

    suitforcourt Senior member

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    Thanks for the responses. I will give Boris a try.

    Matthew Dacks also recommends Coakley in London Ontario. He quoted me $100 for a recraft. Otherwise, Dacks recommends a cobbler in Quebec City or Bay Bloor repair, who was their "go to guy" back when Dacks had stores in GTA.

    If any other SF members recommend a GTA cobbler to recraft Goodyear welted shoes, please post!
     
  17. gj555

    gj555 Senior member

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    Interestingly, the guy at Bay Bloor repair claims that 95% of his customers are women. He is in a youtube video somewhere with this claim. I wonder is that is indicative of his business, shoe repair generally or uniquely Canadian (in that Men just buy crappy shoes and then throw them out in Toronto/Canada).
     
  18. suitforcourt

    suitforcourt Senior member

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    Hmmmm, don't know. I have only recrafted 2 pairs in the 9 years I have been buying nicer dress shoes. I usually donate/sell ones I don't wear/want anymore. I have owned over 50 pairs in that period.
     
  19. gj555

    gj555 Senior member

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    Last week I sent Moneysworth customer service an email asking about the KR soles. This is the response I received.

    Thank you for contacting Moneysworth & Best!
    Yes they are similar.
    Here is some information for you on the KR leather:
    This leather is of very high quality due to the very slow tanning process. The hides hang in a pre-tan pit for 5 weeks. Then they move to ground tan with vegetable tanning agents (crushed oak bark, acorns and chestnuts). They slowly tan here for 18 months total. This slow process gives the leather naturally very high protection against water penetration and a very low abrasion during wear. It also gives them a warm color and a grain pattern that is characteristic of this type of prime leather.
     
  20. suitforcourt

    suitforcourt Senior member

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    Thank you for this great info. I'm definitely going to try KR soles with Boris. I have a few pairs that need to be recrafted.
     

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