Shoe Repair Shops Vanishing

Many types of jobs that were once very popular nationwide are slowly disappearing.

Doug Johnson has been repairing shoes for 47 years.

Johnson’s Shoe Repair in downtown Houghton originally opened in Calumet.

Nationwide, there were more than 100,000 shoe repair shops before World War II.

There are now only an estimated 7,000 left.

Doug says when he started in the shoe repair business in 1965, there were 19 such shops in the U.P.., and now he believes there are only three or four.

The way shoes are made today, repairing them is nearly impossible — Doug says most of the shoes that people bring to him cannot be repaired.

Doug has kept himself from becoming an attrition statistic by branching out to sharpening scissors and repairing golf equipment.

Posted by: Mike Hoey