No Shoe Unsalvageable – Bedo’s Leatherworks

No Shoe Unsalvageable - Bedo's Leatherworks

Bedo’s Leatherworks has done the unimaginable (but in a good way) and that is save a pair of shoes that has been annihilated by a dog’s mouth. Luckily this has never happened to me but I am sure that many dog owners, share some feelings of sad nostalgia towards seeing the featured photo. But instead of your heart sinking to your toes, be restful knowing that a shoe savior is only a trip to the post office away. And that is Bedo’s Leatherworks, based out of Virginia.

I always thought that once a dog ripped through that upper, your shoe was toast. Not even a shoe factory would attempt to fix a shoe that looks like that. In reality, it wouldn’t be worth their time, as they are all about production and not repair. But Steve Doudaklian will gladly take your shoes and revive them to as close to their original state as physically possible and these images and video linked below are proof of that.

A little background on the pair is as follows:

  1. Shoes were by Alden, chewed up by the owner’s dog
  2. Price was $500 but Steve told me it should have cost more as he did not realize at first what exactly was the leather (i.e. whisky cordovan by Horween) and it was very difficult to source. This, of course, will always be the biggest challenge. And while $500 can be tough to swallow for many, please know how difficult this is to achieve.

I have not known Steve for long, admittedly, but since catching onto his work, have been nothing but impressed with all that I see. There are few cobblers (in the world) as skilled as he is and I suggest you follow his YouTube channel which is filled with inspiration on what can be done to fix/save/salvage nearly any pair of shoes imaginable. And bags too!

Bedo’s Leatherworks

No Shoe Unsalvageable - Bedo's Leatherworks

 

7 thoughts on “No Shoe Unsalvageable – Bedo’s Leatherworks”

  1. “There are few cobblers (in the world) as skilled as he is” you have lived far too long in the UK and the US. Which admittedly have the worst cobblers in the world. Many cobblers in Germany, Switzerland and last but not least France are at least as good as Bedo’s, if not better. But you must know at least some of them, since a few have taken part to your so called “best shoemaker in the world’ contest thingy. And you know what? They only charge between 30/50€ for the usual toe tap/Topy combo and do it flawlessly. While Steve charges way above $100. Oh and I almost forgot, they also do it in 2/3 days. While it takes him weeks. It’s simple for the past 20 years I have sent all my shoes to cobblers in Europe, it’s cheaper, quicker and the work is flawless.

    1. Justin FitzPatrick

      your comment sounds like you have a bit of contempt, for both Steve and myself, to be quite honest. None of what you said actually takes away from what I said so your argument is actually not valid. Sure, there are some amazing cobblers in Europe, not to be confused with shoemakers (as you reference my ‘so called shoemaker thingy’). The shoemakers that take part, are NOT cobblers. Frankly, I do not care what Steve charges or how long he takes. That is irrelevant to the incredible work that I have seen him do. If people are happy to pay his prices and the fact that he takes weeks means that he must be busy (as you can see he has a thriving youtube channel, educating people) which just goes to show that there are plenty of people that appreciate his work, which means something. And saying that ‘few’ have as much skill as him is accurate. Take note, there are millions of cobblers in the world. Few (of a million) would be in the hundreds. Simple math. So, I stand by what I say. And I am happy to hear that you are happy with your cobblers in Europe. ShoeSpa Amsterdam is amongt finest too. And of course there are great ones in France. But I have NEVER seen anyone achieve what Steve did with this Alden’s. I would challenge you to show me one! And that is why he was featured on my blog.

      1. “There are some amazing cobblers in Europe, not to be confused with shoemakers”. In some European countries, Switzerland or France for example many shoemakers happen to be cobblers and vice versa. They are called “cordonnier bottier” which literally translates to cobbler-shoemaker. Firstly because the base formation is the same, secondly because shoe making on its own is not enough for them to make a decent living. As for “the shoemakers that take part, are NOT cobblers” either you are lying or you just have no clue who the contestants were, which for a member of the “jury” is a bit of a worry. All of the French participants are cobblers, they all have the title of “cobbler shoemaker” and they all have been working at some point or another as cobbler in a cobbler shop. Philippe Atienza, Athanase Sephocle, Christophe Algans, I know them all personally and they all worked as cobblers at some point or another. Some of them still work mostly as cobblers, the pair made for the contest in 2018 by Canale bottier was made by Anthony Canale. He stayed after the business hours of his COBBLER’s shop to work on the shoes for the contest. Now, tell me that a guy who does all the repairs and services a cobbler does is not a cobbler and I’ll laugh.
        Lastly “But I have NEVER seen anyone achieve what Steve did with this Alden’s.” you should hang out a little more often in cobbler’s shops, first you’d see how your Sendra made shoes age and how some guys do the same kind of “miracles”, it’s not because they are not Youtube or Instagram whor… personalities that they don’t exist. So long self proclaimed “shoesnob”.

        1. Justin FitzPatrick

          Hahahaha you crack me up. I bet you felt good about this little win you feel you got on me. Sorry, but it will be short lived. The issue is, I speak English not French. A shoemaker is not a cobbler. But nearly all shoemakers know how to repair shoes. Its a part of learning the craft. 100 years ago they might have been one in the same. But as time went on, the idea of a shoemaker and a cobbler started to grow separate, where a shoemaker made shoes and a cobbler repaired them. Distinction is important. Just because a cobbler can make a shoe does not necessarily make him a shoemaker (by trade) and vice versa, a shoemaker can repair shoes does not make him a cobbler (by trade). Just because, in French, they have combined the terms to make one person doesnt make you correct that a cobbler is a shoemaker. On the contrary, it makes sense to say a cobbler-shoemaker and the French are good about really defining something where English falls short. But just using the term “cobbler” by itself is misleading at best and does not describe the whole story. And outside of French speaking countries I would be willing to bet you if you asked people like Daniel Wegan or Patrick Frei or Yohei Fukuda if they are a shoemaker or a cobbler you can imagine how they will answer. Its like when I asked my friend, who is a bespoke cutter/suit maker from Savile Row to alter my trousers and he said to me, ‘mate do I look like a fucking tailor to you’?! So you see, in English, it is imoprtant to make that distinction because most shoemakers would NEVER define themselves as Cobblers. Educate yourself. And lastly, why would I spend time in repair shops? And again, I said that “I had seen”, not that Bedos was the only person in the world that could do it. I am not ignorant nor naive. Keep hating James. It serves you well and is entertaining.

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This blog was created to not only show the journey of one man who wanted to make the shoe industry the best it could be but also the share all of the knowledge gained along the way. 

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