Vernon’s Cobbler’s Rack Shoes and Repairs is all About Soles

April 21, 2023

Vernon Store Sells and Repairs Shoes, Boots And A Whole Lot More

Leonard Legare is co-owner of Cobbler’s Rack Shoes and Repairs

By Mark MacDonald

VERNON – The owners of Cobbler’s Rack Shoes and Repairs really care about soles.

Old soles. New soles. Soles in need of repair – even those chewed up by the beloved family dog.

“It’s kind of an old fashioned business, and when you walk into the store it has that old fashioned, old school feeling,” says Maggie Niewinski who along with partner Leonard Legare opened the business in 2017. “There are not many companies like us around, so we get people coming to us from all over the north Okanagan, Kamloops, Revelstoke and Salmon Arm. They make a special trip and come in with bags of shoes for repairs and they’re so thankful that this service is still being offered.”

Besides shoe and boot repair, offer shoe shine services, shoe stretching, zipper repair and replacement, alterations and Velcro replacement. They patch purses, bags, luggage, strollers, guitar and violin cases, and even sports equipment, as they re-palm hockey and baseball gloves, and replace eyelets on skates and stitch them for extra strength.

Cobbler’s Rack Shoes and Repairs co-owner Maggie Niewinski

“The most unique thing we fixed was a Bambi bucket for firefighters,” Maggie recalls. “One of the buckets broke down during a fire, and one of the firefighters brought it in to us. We fixed it on the spot and he was able to get back out and fight the fire.”

Maggie has seen plenty of shoes gnawed on by dogs.

“We actually support the SPCA because of that,” she says. “We give the money from our tip box to the SPCA. So many shoes have been eaten by pets. We try and match them up and repair them as best we can and close as possible to how they should look.”

Besides repairs, Cobbler’s also sells new shoes, focusing on fine European craftmanship, as they carry the popular Fluevog brand.

Assistant manager Lois is a certified insole fitter for Aetrex Compete Orthotics, which Cobbler’s has offered for the past four years.

The Cobbler’s Rack Shoes and Repairs at 3204 30th Avenue in Vernon

“Aetrex has a very unique system, as it makes 3-Dimensional orthotic prints for insoles,” Maggie says. “The prints show the pressure points of the feet, and the full 3-D scan shows a photo of your foot. It gives all the measurements, how feet may lean on the side, the angle of the foot going both inward and outward. The picture gives a full report so the shoes can fit perfectly and comfortably.”

They are particularly helpful for people suffering from corns, calluses, bunions, heel spurs and Plantar Fasciitis.

Cobbler’s Rack Shoes and Repairs earned a Best Business Award after their first year from the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce.

“The secret to our success is old fashioned and old school values,” Maggie states. “You can see honesty in our work, for when customers come in and the shoes they bring are not worth fixing, we are not going to convince them to fix the shoes.

“Integrity and honesty, for us, is everything.”


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