If you’ve seen Randy the Cobbler’s work, it has probably been by the number of media outlets who repost his customs or even in-person at ComplexCon. His unique approach to customizing popular sneakers has earned him a lot of attention for good reason. We catch-up with Randy where we get to know him a little more and his customs.
First off tell us about yourself and your background?
My name is Randy Lucas and 27 year old third generation cobbler from Tempe, Arizona. My family brought this trade here to the states from Guatemala and we have had our brick and mortar shop, Broadway Shoe Repair, now for over 60 years and I’m just trying I find new ways to keep the craft alive and relevant.
What keeps you motivated?
My clients for sure, they kept pushing everything we did to new limits. New ideas/ concepts, new materials, new techniques, new shoes etc…
What is the process of customizing a sneaker like and how long does it take?
I take the concept of the cobbler shop into what I do. When you go to your local cobbler shop, you bring in a worn shoe and our job is to make them better again. With that concept in mind, each client I work with supplies me with a donor and I fix the design on it, alters it with classic cobbler techniques if that make sense. Usually takes about a couple days once I get to the client in queue.
What have people’s reactions been to your customizations?
Overwhelming, in a good way. They always come back for more and keep helping me push my limits.
Have you focused more on adidas with the change in popularity?
Yes I have, my shelves have slowly changes from orange colored boxes to blue. Adidas has it going right now and it reflects in my workflow for sure.
How does special ordering a custom with you work?
It all starts with an email letting me know what you want to make. It can be a classic I’ve done like the Moc Hybrids or something completely new. I get the concept done and put the client in queue and let them know once I’ve arrived to there slot, then we get started.
What has been your favorite sneaker to customize thus far?
Each one I do tends to be my new favorite, and right now it’s the RTC Human Race, just sold out 20 slots of those this weekend.