A heart full of sole - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

A heart full of sole

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CHULA VISTA, Calif. (CBS 8) - One profession that is quickly disappearing from the American business landscape is the art of shoemaking. But one local man still deals in heels.

When it comes to Chito Martinez's philosophy of life, the sign on his window says it all: "I have soles. I will heel you, I will save your sole, I will even dye for you."

And over the years at Boot Round-up and Shoe Repair on Broadway, they've saved a lot of soles and brought a lot of leather back to life.

"We've been in this location for 24 years, and prior to that we were up on Palm Avenue for about 10 years," Chito said.

"I really love what I'm doing. I really enjoy it. I'm 73 years old. It's not just shoe repair, it's a little bit of everything."

Our sluggish economy has been a boom to Chito's business.

"Our business, we are booming, thank God, because people do repair rather than throw away like they used to," Chito said.

There's a steady stream of customers in and out of Boot Round-up and Shoe Repair, the not-so-well-heeled looking for a new understanding.

"That's what makes the difference between a shoemaker and guys that repair shoes. We can make shoes from scratch," Chito said.

In the back of this shop, the downtrodden are born again.

"These are a pair of Red Wing boots, about $200 boots. It's going to cost him about $60 to have it re-done. He'll have a new pair of shoes when he's done," Chito said.

At this pint-sized cathedral of cowhide, a lifelong heeler plies his craft, and miracles happen every day.


Boot Round-up and Shoe Repair
246 Broadway
Chula Vista, CA 91910
(619) 427-3055

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