Anything that a button or a lace can’t fix, a zipper can. And most of the time—can do more than any other means of fastening things. Sure, it does sometimes get stuck in the underlying fabric or starts getting hard to move up or down, but, overall, many agree that it’s one of the most practical solutions for clothing.

And, contrary to popular belief, zippers are actually as easy to fix as sewing in new buttons or replacing laces. You just gotta know how to do it!

Speaking of know-how, a video of a cobbler fixing a shoe zipper has been going viral lately on TikTok, and people love the simplicity and practicality of this life hack for older zippers.

A broken zipper doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t fix it on your own using basic house tools


Original Cobblers LTD, a shoe repair shop in London, England, has recently shared a video detailing one of the most common issues with zippers and a solution on how to fix them. Bored Panda got in touch with Martin Jones, the Founding Director of Original Cobblers LTD for an interview.

The video shows a long boot with a side zipper that has been worn off over time. When you zip it up, it doesn’t latch together as it should, creating a hole of sorts between the bottom and the slider.

A cobbler from the UK recently showed how you can fix a broken zipper in under a minute

Image credits: Original Cobblers LTD

Image credits: Original Cobblers LTD

While many think that this is a kind of issue that requires a completely new zipper, in the majority of cases, it can be fixed without having to replace it at all—and using things found around at home!

“The video was made for a potential postal customer, try-this-first kind of thing. We are asked questions like this a lot, so a video we could direct people to is easier than trying to explain over the phone or by email,” elaborated Jones.

He continued: “It was our young factory manager, Jamie French, who suggested putting it on Tiktok. The boot in the video had just come into our shop, so it was perfect timing. There is a full video on our Instagram, including a response from the owner of the boot. We shortened the vid to 58sec, so we didn’t need a 2-part TikTok video. The full video does show how to protect your zip.”

The particular zipper issue is when the teeth don’t interlock when moving the slider

Image credits: Original Cobblers LTD

Image credits: Original Cobblers LTD

The problem here is that the structure of the slider itself has been altered. The parallel plates found in it have bent outward over time and thus need to be pushed back into their original position.

So, you pick up a pair of pliers, squeeze the back of the bridge by its sides, and use a hammer to give a good tap on the top side of the hammer as shown in the video. Not too hard, though, as it might break!

And then, move the zipper back to its starting location and try zipping it up to see if it makes the elements (the ‘teeth’ of the zipper) latch together. If not, try giving it another tap.

In turn, this creates a hole between the beginning of the zipper and the slider

Image credits: Original Cobblers LTD

Image credits: Original Cobblers LTD

“90 percent of the time, you don’t need a new zipper, if the teeth are OK,” explained the cobbler in the video. “It’s either a new runner that’s required, or sometimes you get away, especially if you’re on the field, horse-riding, and you need it working now.”

Now, all of this is provided in a minute-long video—a very quick way of fixing it yourself, granted the zipper is a metal one. If it’s a plastic one, this might break it completely.

This happens due to the slider opening up because of long-term wear

Image credits: Original Cobblers LTD

Image credits: Original Cobblers LTD

Jones was always a hands-on kind of person right from an early age. He used to have a Saturday job with his uncle who cleaned offices and factories. One of their clients was the TW Clark & Sons shoe repair factory, where he got to know all the staff and owners over the years, thus landing him a job after he left school.

“I worked there learning the trade from 1992–2004 when they closed. In 2004, the floor manager and foreman approached me suggesting we start our own company, so we purchased the machines from the liquidators. Now, I own the company with my partner Pippa Terry and employ 7 staff,” explained Jones.

Martin Jones of Original Cobblers Ltd shows how can you can fix that using pliers and a hammer

Image credits: Original Cobblers LTD

Image credits: Original Cobblers LTD

The video was uploaded onto the company’s TikTok channel, where people have found it very useful. Since its uploading three days ago, it has amassed over 2.3 million views with over 300,000 likes.

“Jamie French is only 26 and an avid TikTok user, he created the Tiktok account about a week ago. He messaged me saying the views were over 1k, he gave me the log-in details, so I could help answer questions. Never would I believe two days later our 58sec vid would be seen by over 2.3 million ppl and gaining us over 300k likes and being shared all over the globe. Love reading the positive ‘it really worked, just saved my coat’ comments,” said Jones.

Simply pinch the bridge and tap it with the hammer as so

Image credits: Original Cobblers LTD

Image credits: Original Cobblers LTD

After finding out about this trick, many people online have actually used it to fix their zippers, and were overjoyed that it worked, calling him a wizard. One person joked that he tried fixing it while he had his jeans on, but we can safely say it was a joke and don’t do this at home, folks!

Another commenter also shared a similar trick to the one that the cobbler shared, except instead of using shoe polish, you can also use graphite to “lube” up the zipper. And then a joker commenter replied that you can solve all of your zipper problems by simply always having it zipped. Sure, why not!

The zipper should now force the teeth to interlock, and if not, give it another try

Image credits: Original Cobblers LTD

Image credits: Original Cobblers LTD

Now, cobbling is a hard job, but also a rewarding one, as Jones explains: “The toughest part of my job now is finding youngsters that aren’t scared of blisters, someone who can change a plug or hang a shelf. The most rewarding part however is seeing and hearing from customers who have had their expectations blown out the water. Taking something once loved and restoring it back into the heart of the owner.”

Jones concluded: “I would like to thank @mollyyyfarnham who earned 30k likes for her positive comment: ‘Can we just appreciate he told us this so people can do it themselves at home, saving their shoes and money!’ The world is full of nice people that often get overlooked.”

90 percent of the time, you won’t need a new zipper if the teeth are in good shape

Image credits: Original Cobblers LTD

Image credits: Original Cobblers LTD

He said that, following this video, many have asked for other videos to become available, detailing tips and tricks on how people can take care of and fix their shoes and other paraphernalia. So, be sure to check everything that’s already available and more on the company’s social media, namely Facebook, Instagram, and, of course, TikTok, and if you’re in the area, you can also check out their website and possibly make use of their services.

Jones also shares a quick tip on how to extend the lifespan of a zipper using shoe polish

Image credits: Original Cobblers LTD

Image credits: Original Cobblers LTD

What are your thoughts on this? Care to share some of your zipper fixing tricks? Let everyone know about it in the comment section below!