Many a worn shoe has been fixed by a shoe repairer. To make a shoe, they
test the texture, color and strength of the leather. After finding the right
piece of calf skin, the shoemaker places and traces a pattern, cuts the outline
and sews the pieces together.
Orthopedic and therapeutic shoemakers create or modify footwear according
to a doctor's prescription. They may attach insoles or shoe uppers, or apply
heels and outsoles. People with foot problems may also need shoemakers to
insert heel pads or lifts.
The most common type of shoe repair involves replacing soles and heels.
Repairers remove the old sole and heel with a knife or pliers. They attach
new soles and heels to the shoe either by stitching them in place or by using
cement or nails.
Shoemakers and repairers who work in large manufacturing establishments
generally work a regular 40-hour week. Many work in small shops. For those
who own repair shops, long hours are common. "The hours can be long," says
Earl Duncan, a shoe repairer in Florida.