Both cobblers and shoemakers are trained professionals who make and repair shoes. A cobbler primarily works with repairs, while a shoemaker focuses on making new shoes.
What is a cobbler?
A cobbler is a tradesman who mends shoes and other leather items. Cobblers will often have a wider range of skills, as they need to be able to repair all types of shoes. Cobblers use various tools to fix shoes, such as needles, awls, leather patches, and thread. They often have a small anvil on which they shape the new soles of shoes. Cobblers were once very common because most people wore leather shoes that needed frequent repair. Nowadays, mass-produced shoes are made of synthetic materials that are less likely to break down, so there are fewer cobblers than there used to be. Most cobblers work in shops, although some may be self-employed or work out of their homes.
What is a shoemaker?
A shoemaker is a person who designs, manufactures, and sells shoes. Shoemakers may use a variety of methods to design shoes, including hand-sewing and machines. They often specialize in a particular type of shoe, such as athletic shoes, dress shoes, or work boots. Some shoemakers also make custom-made shoes to order.
Shoemakers will usually start by creating a last – a wooden or metal model of a foot that is used to shape the shoe. They then cut out the pieces of leather or fabric that will make up the upper part of the shoe, before stitching it all together. The sole is then attached and the shoe is ready to be worn!
Cobblers and shoemakers – The difference
A cobbler typically repairs shoes that are already made. This can include patching holes, replacing heels, or adding new straps or laces. A shoemaker, on the other hand, makes shoes from start to finish. This includes everything from cutting the leather to stitching the pieces together to attaching the soles.
Both cobblers and shoemakers require a certain amount of skill and training. However, because shoemaking is such a detailed and complex process, it usually takes longer to learn than Cobblery.
There are many different types of shoes, and each type requires different skills to make or repair. For example, repairing high-heeled ladies’ shoes is very different from repairing men’s work boots. Some cobblers specialize in one type of shoe, while others are able to repair all types. The same goes for shoemakers – some specialize in making one type of shoe, while others have the skills to make many different types.
Photo by Raoul Ortega on Unsplash