Careers in Shoe Repair

Shoe repair is one of the oldest green professions on earth. In this economy, more and more people are looking to recycle shoes—that is to say, fixing old ones instead of buying new ones. Shoe repairs across the nation are looking for more people to join in order to meet the demand for cobblers. If you would like a job that allows you to become your own boss and work with your hands, this may be the industry for you.

Here is some information to get you started.

Where Do I Find Training?

This is the most frequently asked question from those who are interested in getting started in shoe repair. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. SSIA is not aware of any shoe repair schools in North America, when means the best way to find training is to find an existing shoe repairer willing to take on an apprentice.

All SSIA-member wholesalers have current knowledge on stores with retiring owners, stores interested in providing training and locations in need of stores.

Click here for a list of SSIA Member Wholesalers

SSIA is also assembling a library of training materials. There are no new texts on shoe repairing. Click on the links below for some older texts that still provide an excellent background in shoe repair.

The Shoe Repairer’s Manual
Shoe Repairing

What Are the Startup Costs?

A mixture of new and used machinery necessary to operate a shoe repair shop will cost between $25,000 and $60,000 depending on your choice of machinery.
The cost of back room materials and retail items (polishes, laces, insoles, etc.) is about $15,000. This does not include footwear, which some shoe repair shops choose to sell.

Feedback from Recent Start-Ups

Observations on starting a shoe repair shop submitted by a recent new store owner
Recent Store Purchases in the Midwest
More observations from a new store owner