We all have that one pair of shoes that we absolutely love, whether you’re on your feet all the time and it’s a pair of boots that gives you the comfort and support you need, or a pair of heels that fit you perfectly and look good with everything. The trouble with having one or two favourite pairs of shoes, though, is that we can sometimes wear them to death – so why not take them to a cobbler instead?
Having your shoes repaired by a professional is a great way to save money and let you hold onto the things you love. Instead of buying a new pair of shoes just because of a bit of wear and tear, a shoe repairer will be able to revitalise your shoes to as-new condition, extending the life of your favourite kicks.
Of course, you want to be able to rely 100% on your cobbler to return your shoes to you in great condition – so how do you find a great cobbler? In this article, we’ll give you a few things to look for in a shoe repairer, as well as a list of some Canberra’s favourites.
What makes a great shoe repair service?
There’s plenty that separates an average cobbler from a great one. Keep an eye out for the following traits:
- Years of experience. Practice really does make perfect! Look for a cobbler with an established reputation and years of work behind them, as this is what gives them the expertise to provide you with high quality service.
- Prompt. We wear shoes every single day, and going without our favourite pair can be a huge inconvenience. A great shoe repairer will make sure that you don’t have to wait for your shoes longer than necessary.
- Affordable. Repairs on your shoes shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg, and you definitely want value for your money – keep an eye out for cobblers with reasonable competitive price points
- Attention to detail. Whether you’ve taken your shoes in to buff out scratches or repair fraying seams, the cobbler shouldn’t miss any details and make sure you get your shoes back in the best nick possible.
- High quality tools. As important as expertise is, a great cobbler relies on great tools to deliver great results, such as the hammers, prying tools, leathers and much more.
The best shoe repair services in Canberra
RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
Mister Minit – Canberra City/Braddon
Whether you’re looking to personally care for your shoes or need some expert attention, Mister Minit has been fixing shoes since they opened their first Heel Bar 1957. Along with key copying, watch fixing and metal engraving, Mister Minit can provide excellent cobbling services. Most shoe repairs at Mister Minit can be completed day-of, so if you take your shoes into one of their kiosks then you can continue shopping until your shoes are fixed, including patching, stitching, stretching, buckle replacement, re-colouring and water protection.
As Google reviewer Tom Fortune writes, “Friendly staff, good work and reasonable prices. Very happy with the repairs done to my favourite pair of shoes."
Manuka Cobbler is a family-owned and operated business that has been repairing shoes for over 25 years. Using traditional methods and expert leather reworking and melding techniques, Manuka Cobbler offers tailor-made shoes, quality shoe repairs, orthopaedic inserts and much more.
‘Local Guide’ Mark Solomons left the following Google review for Manuka Cobbler, “This man is a genius with the boot repairs we asked for plus he's a great funny bloke. I found prices perfectly reasonable for the quality of the work.”
Joe’s Boots stocks an incredibly wide range of brands and products, from high-quality shoes to care products and accessories. Among some of the brands they stock are Redbacks, Birkenstock and Dr Martens. On top of their extensive range of brands, Joe’s Boots also offers an excellent repair service, providing personable service and reasonable pricing.
Google reviewer Neil Ericson writes, “I cannot recommend Joe's highly enough. I have had my boots repaired to an excellent standard along with my leather jackets and vests. I have purchased pairs of Blundstone and Johnny Reb boots at a reasonable price along with excellent customer service.”
Established in 1973, Civic Shoes is Canberra’s oldest cobbler. They are a full-service cobbler, providing a wide range of services including leather dying, boot cleaning and repairs. This family-run business also sells accessories, gifts and care products for shoes and leather goods, as well as offering home delivery services and private appointments for custom made shoes.
Google reviewer and ‘Local Guide’ Kim Evans writes, “The best shoe repairs in Canberra. It's worth the money to get the quality, truly excellent work.”
If you’re looking for more care and repair for your clothes, check out our articles on the best dry cleaners and the best tailors and alteration services in Canberra for some great recommendations.
Your experience with shoe repair services in Canberra
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback, if you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the cobblers listed above? Have we missed your favourite? If so, please share your feedback in the comments below!
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I take my shoes to a cobbler?
Cobblers repair your shoes, whether that’s a broken heel, worn soles or smoothed grip, which means that you don’t need to throw away an otherwise fine pair of shoes. Additionally, if you have a pair of shoes that don’t quite fit, a cobbler can adjust the size for you!
What kind of shoes can I take to a cobbler?
Cobblers can work on just about any kind of shoe, but they can’t do everything to every kind of shoe. For example, while they can repair a broken heel, they can’t make the heel taller, nor can they resole a sneaker even though they can resole leather soled shoes.
How long does it take for a pair of shoes to be repaired?
This depends on the job and how busy the shop is. On average, it’s advisable to set aside about a week for shoe repairs. Your cobbler should give you an estimate of how long the job is going to take.
Can cobblers make new shoes from scratch?
No, cobblers mend and repair shoes. However, a good cobbler can be asked to make changes and adjustments to your shoes that can leave you with a pair of shoes in as-new condition, perhaps by repairing any fraying in the seams or even changing the colour.
Can cobblers adjust the size of my shoes?
Cobblers can stretch shoes to make them bigger, but when it comes to making them smaller there are limited options. Shoes cannot be shrunk, but you can use insoles, socks and tongue pads to fill up the extra space.