Ten quick questions for Marcos Machado, owner of Fernando’s Shoe Repair, 74 Monmouth Street, Red Bank.

What happened to Fernando? He retired and moved back to Portugal. I’ve had the shop since 1998.

You moved here in April from 4A West Front Street. Which location is better? It’s better here, because of ease of parking.

Did you go to school to learn your trade? No. My grandfather and father did shoe repair and shoemaking in Minas Gerais, Brazil, and I learned from them.

Are there occupational hazards, like swallowing hobnails? You get a cut here and there, but nothing serious.

Can you tell anything about someone’s personality from the way they treat their shoes? No.

What’s the most unusual request you’ve gotten? People sometimes bring in boots, they want me to cut off the calf or take it in. Some orthopedic work.


In an era when people throw away expensive items when they break down, what keeps the art of shoe repair alive? Because it’s cheaper to fix them, especially if you have good shoes that are comfortable.

Do you ever make shoes from scratch? Not any more. I did in Brazil, but there’s not enough demand for it here.

What’s the one thing you look for when you buy shoes for yourself? I never buy shoes here. I buy them when I go to Brazil. Brazil and Italy are the top shoemaking countries in the world.

Which is more important, sturdy shoes or quality food? Now you got me. Quality food.