Since starting my Saddler journey I have been inundated with inquiries for boot zip repairs and although I have agreed to do some of them in the past the actual truth of the matter is, that they are a pig to do!
From what conversations I’ve had with other saddler colleagues too, I’m not the only one who thinks this and is probably the reason why you, the customer, is struggling to find someone who will actually repair them at a reasonable cost.
I’m also acutely aware that some cobblers, who’s speciality is actually shoes and boots don’t or won’t touch them either, I wonder why?!
A Reasonable Cost
So, what is a reasonable cost to you, the customer, is probably not even worth the time and effort we, the saddlers, have to put in to first remover the defective zip, and then somehow put a new zip in as neat and tidy as the original one without having to strip the boot down to do it. Saddlers often charge by the hour plus materials and outgoings, because not only is it our job it is our full-time job and therefore we have to make a living too.
Manufacturer of Boots
I’m only surmising when I talk about the manufacture of boots but it’s a valid point to think about. When boots are made I suspect all the components are put together and stitched, using a machine, as a flatlay of materials. I can only presume then that one of the last processes of boot manufacture is actually stitching everything onto the sole and therefore becomes the shape of a boot as we, the consumer, knows it.
As a saddler still in the ‘training’ category, the repair process for me is both long and laborious. If I had to correctly price the time in which it takes me to remove the old zip and then hand-stitch a new one in (as I don’t have an industrial sewing machine), then it would be more cost effective to just go out and buy a new pair of boots, because on average it takes me around an hour to remove the old zip, then another hour to two hours to hand stitch another zip in and this depends on whether the new zip fits in as easily as the old one did, which is not always the case.
What will I expect to pay for a boot repair?
Don’t take this as gospel as I can only tell you what I would or should be charging and every saddler is different in experience and time they have available for such repairs, but I’d say most saddlers would charge between £25 – £35 per hour and if a boot (yes just the one) can take two hours to complete then at best you’re likely to be charged £50 but that’s just for labour, so the cost of materials have to be factored in which could be another £10 on top of the £50 giving you an overall repair price of £60. Is your boot worth that to repair?
If you do have a boot or a pair of boots that you are considering having repaired then drop me a message or call me on 07717 393932 and we can discuss your requirements further.
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