The unordinary love story of a boy and his shoes

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Matthew Montoya (’19) spends his free time restoring old shoes and selling them.

Minh Lam, Staff Writer

Matthew Montoya (’19) is crazy for shoes. In restoring old and used shoes, Montoya finds an outlet for his love of them.

“I just have a passion for shoes,” Montoya said. “I’ve always liked shoes, ever since I got my first pair of Hyperdunks in 6th grade.”

Montoya’s shoe obsession, however, is only side hobby. The most he has ever spent on a pair of shoes is about $220, on a pair of Jordans he has since sold.

About a year ago, Montoya started to fix up old and beat up shoes. After trying it out on his own pairs, he realized he could make a profit from simple changes like cleaning stains or taking out unwanted creases.
Learning from videos on YouTube, Montoya was able to fill up his free time restoring shoes and make a little money, as he usually buys a pair cheap and then sells it for a profit.

Having an inspiration in the business also pushed Montoya to start fixing up shoes.

“I have a friend that restores shoes and sells them- he kinda taught me some stuff too but he makes huge profits,” Montoya said. “He’s an adult and has way more free time.”
Recently, however, Montoya has taken time off from restoring shoes in an attempt to balance school, work and sports.

“Since I’m on the golf team, we have practice every single day so I can’t really get to some people who actually give me money to pay to restore their shoes,” Montoya said.

Even though he has not been restoring shoes recently, Montoya still has the stories from past jobs.

“My friend, he had fallen into a lake with his Jordan 8s on and I had to totally restore his shoes, because the algae got all over his feet and there were grass stains all over it,” he said. “I had to take out his shoe laces and put baking soda on them. Then I cleaned up the whole entire shoe and go it into immaculate condition.”