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SSIA Articles

Judging the 2008 Silver Cup Contest

by Dana Huval, Huval's Boot and Shoe Repair,

Crowley, LA

In 1938, Eugene Melvin Goodwin won the first Silver Cup Contest. The contest was created to recognize excellence in this industry and to bring a better recognition to the industry. Past contests have had as many as 35 categories of competition.

Today, 70 years later, the contest has scaled down and you only need two pairs of shoes to enter. Both pairs need one shoe to stay original (never repaired). The remaining shoe from one pair is to be repaired with a full sole and heel. The shoe from the second pair gets a half sole and heel.

Thanks to our sponsors, prize money was also added as an incentive for repairers to enter. Our Silver Cup winner will receive $1,000. Second place will receive $ 300 and third place will get $ 200 along with individual plaques. Five other repairers will receive certificates for their nice work.

Don Rinaldi of Petronio Shoe Products hosted the judging of the shoes again this year. A huge thanks also goes to Erika, Petronio’s office manager. She and Don set up a special table, covered it with a red table cloth, used latex gloves and carefully unpacked each pair of shoes. As the shoes were placed on the table, Erika and Don were extra careful not to scratch the bottoms of the shoes The shoes were numbered and a tally sheet was created with the repairer, shop name and number assigned to the shoes. This sheet was placed in Petronio’s safe before the judges arrived.

On Friday of the judging, Don was the personal taxi service from the airport to Petronio for all three judges. He took them to get a sneak peek of the contest shoes, off to supper and finally dropped them off at the hotel for a goods night’s rest before the judging that was held all day Saturday. Bright and early Don picked them up and treated them to breakfast at the Nultey Diner. They put in a full day at Petronio for judging starting at 9 a.m. and finishing around 5 p.m.

The judges said they found uneven, wavy and rough sole edges to be the most common challenge for repairers. Bottom-finish problems came in a close second. This caused repairers to receive lower scores. Interestingly, when asked 20 years ago, the most common problem judges spoke about was putting on the new sole in such a way that it made the shoe too narrow and too long. Therefore, it no longer matched the original shoe.

Although Petronio had hosted the judging before, this was the first time Don got so involved in the judging. He was amazed by the time and effort each judge took scoring all of the categories used for these shoes. Considerable time and effort were involved, including detailed discussions between the judges during this process. Shoes were divided into two groups, good jobs and great jobs. The judges even went so far at to show him the difference between the good and great shoes.

As if the judges had not been treated like kings already, Don took them to Little Italy for Dinner and Ferrara’s for coffee and dessert. He then took them for a quick tour around the Big Apple before taking them back to the hotel just around midnight.

Our judges were Robert DiRinaldo, 1987 Silver Cup Winner and 2004 100 year Grand Silver Cup Winner; Jim McFarland, 2002 Silver Cup Winner and Larry Schupbach 2003 Silver Cup Winner.

We are grateful to Don, Robert, Jim and Larry for giving up a weekend to judge this year's Silver Cup Contest. With their combined years of experience in this industry, they certainly know good repair jobs compared to great repair jobs.

Although the winners will be announced at the Silver Cup Brunch on Saturday, July 19, these are the repairers and their shops that will be receiving awards and certificates. Please note they are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Kim Chang – Tip Top Shoe Service, San Francisco CA

  • Tom Heirs – Country Cobbler, Cornelia Georgia

  • Peter Holmer - Bäckmans Skoservice AB, Stockholm Sweden

  • Randolph Logan – Logan Magic Shoe Care, Knoxville Tennessee

  • Wilfred Lopez – Best Foot Forward, Arlington Virginia

  • Javier Melgoza – Oakdake Shoe Repair, Oakdale California

  • Ronald Nijdam – Quick Cobbler Limited, Vancouver BC

  • Ray Torcaso – Torcaso Shoe Repair, Lake Geneva and Kenosha Wisconsin

Congratulations to the winners of this year’s contest.

This contest could not take place without the support of the Silver Cup Sponsors. This years we had six sponsors that included Vibram, Guard, Petronio, Soletech, Foam Tex and Topy SA.

Vibram has been sponsoring this event for well over 30 years because it recognizes excellence on craftsmanship. It will also give the winner an outstanding means to promote their business. And best of all Vibram is a brand which represents the highest quality. Working with the Silver Cup, where the best is acknowledged, it is a natural fit for Vibram.

Guard has been a sponsor for well over 20 years. Guard participates because it provides peer recognition among a group of highly skilled craftsmen. They continue to encourage our craftsmen to participate and enter.

Petronio has stayed involved to promote the shoe repair industry and to get our repairers excited and energized. The contest is good for the repairer, the wholesaler and the supplier.

Soletech has been a sponsor for many years and fully supports the contest because it is a test of the best repairers.

For the past few years Foam Tex has wanted to be a sponsor because it helps the SSIA promote excellence.
Topy, as a supplier of high quality rubber for the shoe repairer, is proud to be associated with the best craftsmen in their business.

Please remember to thank the judges and sponsors for our Silver Cup competition.

Hope you’re a winner in the next Silver Cup Contest.

  © 2005 Shoe Service Institute of

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