Bangor cobbler carries on centuries-old tradition

Posted Aug. 25, 2014, at 11:20 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Centuries ago shoes were invented, and soon there was a need for cobblers to repair them. For nearly 10 years, cobbler Jonathan Lambert has been using those century-old techniques to repair shoes at his shop, Yankee Cobbler in Bangor.

Lambert does all types of shoe repairs from heels and soles to orthopedic modifications. But he says a majority of his shoe repairs come from the inability to replace the shoe, or from sentimental value.

“I have a lot of people repairing shoes that their dad had, that were good quality shoes, and now they want to repair them and wear them themselves,” said Lambert. “Or, ‘I’ve had these since high school and though I could go buy new ones, I really want to keep these ones going.’ I’ve repaired shoes that were 45 years old.”

The history of the shoes is what Lambert enjoys the most.

“When you get a shoe that old that was either Mom or Dad’s, or from high school, it kind of gives you a sense of pride being able to continue that history. Going and refurbishing them, making them look practically new, and sending them back out the door to be worn another 10 years,” said Lambert. “Some of the shoes have been all over the world.”