Village Cobbler Shoe Repair has long been a staple in the Salt Lake Valley. Since 1968, they have breathed renewed life into countless shoes needing a little or a lot of love. This shop is run by the Morgan family since it was founded by Rob Morgan, and is now managed by his son, Troy Morgan. Troy says, “I didn’t have much of a choice when I started working there as a teenager. I learned the craft from my dad. He’s the best in the business, so I feel very lucky.”
Repairing shoes has never been a trend to truly go out of fashion. Village Cobbler boasts a reputation for being able to fix shoes of all qualities. It’s no surprise that they attract all types of clientele, both younger and older. For example, online shoppers often bring in ill-fitting shoes for refitting. According to Troy, “We can stretch most shoes one half to one full size. We can also make shoes smaller using insoles and heel grips.”
The interest in vintage footwear also brings in a fair share of customers. Troy adds, “People would rather buy a good quality, old shoe, knowing they were made way better back in the day, and repair them rather than buy something new.”
For Troy, who has been working as a cobbler for over 30 years, repairing shoes or other items comes from a deep-rooted philosophy and a wealth of creative solutions. “I think it’s very important to repair over replace. Most of the time, shoes, handbags and other things we fix just need simple repairs to get them usable again,” he says. It makes me sick to think people would throw something away that only needs a simple buckle, zipper pull, stitching on the side, or even just a good shine to bring a shoe back to life.”
Over the course of Rob and Troy’s careers, the cobbler trade has not changed that much. Some minor changes include utilizing different glues, and how soles and heels are attached. The biggest change, however, is the quality of products they are sometimes able to work with. “It’s hard to find good quality, American-made supplies. We always try to use the best stuff on the market, but it’s hard to find.”
Village Cobbler Shoe Repair offers a wide range of resources and services. “We still offer shoe dying. As far as I know none of the other shops dye anymore. We also do a lot of zipper repairs and replacements. We fix a lot stuff that dogs have chewed up. We like to call those rabies cases. It’s interesting to see the things other shoe repair shops won’t fix.”
For more about Village Cobbler Shoe Repair, visit them at 1455 S 23rd E, Salt Lake City, UT 84108. They are open Tuesday through Friday from 9am to 6pm.