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Shoe and Boot-Shaped Signs

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The photos and links at this page are meant to accompany an article that I have have written for the SCA (Society for Commercial Archeology) Journal which will be published in the Fall of 2022.

Maya
Shoe Repair [gone]
Santa Monica, CA
Harut's
Shoe Repair
Los Angeles, CA
Larry's Shoe Repair [gone]
Alameda, CA
Van's Shoes [gone]
Watsonville, CA
Maya Shoe Repair opened in 1970. This sign appeared to be from the 1950s or so. The store closed around 2020 and this sign is gone now.

Harut's Shoe Repair opened around 1980. This sign appears older than that. The store has closed but the sign remains. There is a very similar sign at the Museum of Neon Art in Glendale, CA. [map]

Larry's Shoe Repair was closed but this sign was still there when this photo was taken in 2014. It was removed just a few months later.

The main sign at Van's Shoes was probably from the 1950s. Red Goose Shoes signs were mass-produced but I had not seen one like this before. It is also very unusual to see three different shoe brands (Red Goose, Friedman-Shelby and John C. Roberts) advertised on the same sign. The shoe-shaped sign below that one was probably older. Although it was painted over, you could still make out the word "Renewing" on it. The signs were still there in 2019 but gone by 2020. The shoe shop had been replaced with a flooring store.

Piedmont Cobblers Shoe Repair [gone]
Oakland, CA
Mike's Shoe Shop [gone]
San Francisco, CA
The holes in the Piedmont Cobblers Shoe Repair sign indicated that it must have had neon at one time. The word "Renewing" must have been backlit originally. This photo is from 2008. Sometime between 2012 and 2014, the business and sign disappeared.

The Mike's Shoe Shop sign had the same design as the one at Piedmont Cobblers. This photo is from 2008. In 2014, the store closed and the sign was removed.

Galletti Brothers Shoe Repair
Battery St.
San Francisco, CA
former Galletti Brothers Shoe Repair
Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA
2008: 2014: 2020:
Galletti Brothers Shoe Repair was established in San Francisco in 1905. At one time, there were at least three locations in San Francisco, two in Stockton, and one in Daly City. The Stockton location moved to Lodi and continues to use the Galletti name.

The surviving San Francisco location on Battery Street has two neon skeleton signs in the window of undetermined age: a red loafer (above) and a Galletti text sign. [map]

The sign at the Columbus Ave. location shown above is still there although the store had closed by 2007. The sign might be from the 1950s. By 2009, the sign had been half-covered up with fake ivy by the Italian restaurant below. Evidently, they were tired of people asking where the shoe shop was. In 2018, Barbara Express opened in the space and removed the ivy. The space is used by the Barbara Pinseria & Cocktail Bar next door for takeout and delivery orders. Barbara Express pays tribute to the sign in its moped logo. [map]

There was a very similar sign in town which was installed temporarily but it is gone now.

Heel & I Shoe Repair [gone]
San Francisco, CA
Sunset Shoe Repair
San Francisco, CA
The Heel & I Shoe Repair sign was probably from the 1950s or earlier. It was removed in 2017 when the exterior of the building was renovated. The sign was then sold to a collector.

Sunset Shoe Repair was established in 1900. This sign is probably from the 1950s or earlier. It was repainted sometime after 2010. This photo is from 2014. [map]

K&M Shoe Repair
San Francisco, CA
Schroeder's Shoe Repair
Sacramento, CA
shoe sign [gone]
Sacramento, CA
This K&M Shoe Repair sign is displayed inside Al's Attire. I don't know where this sign came from either. The panels are ripple tin.

The Schroeder's Shoe Repair sign originally advertised for Dun Rite Shoe Repair which was established by the 1940s and moved here around 1958. This sign is probably from the 1940s or 1950s. It obviously had neon originally. There was a Dunn Rite Shoe Repair chain with locations around the country. I don't know if this sign was mass-produced for their stores. [map]

This shoe sign was a modern creation by Dexter Smith as a tribute to United Cobblers which used to occupy the space below. This photo is from 2014. The sign was removed around 2016. For more, see this website.

George's Shoe Comfort & Repair
Los Angeles, CA
shoe repair [gone]
Wilmington, CA
The George's Shoe Comfort & Repair sign is installed very high up on a building closer to the street. It is probably from at least the 1950s. [map]

This shoe repair sign in Wilmington was probably from the 1920s or 1930s. The shoe store was long gone. It was probably backlit with opal glass originally. The panels were made from ripple tin. These photos are from 2014. The sign was repainted sometime after this 2010 photo. It disappeared around 2020.

Veges Shoe Repairing
Pueblo, CO
Salzman's Shoe & Boot Repair
Greeley, CO
Veges Shoe Repairing opened in 1919. It is believed to be the oldest shoe repair store in Colorado. The sign has always advertised for Veges and is probably from the 1940s or 1950s. It is about four feet wide, and it is still lit at night. [map]

Salzman's Shoe & Boot Repair opened in 1935. I don't know if this sign is from then. The store closed in 2017 but the sign remains. [map]

Boston Shoes to Boots
Yankton, SD
Ralph Martin Shoe Repair [gone]
Delaware, OH
The Boston Shoes to Boots opened in 1915. The sign may have been built in the 1950s or earlier. It had neon originally and might have porcelain panels under the paint. The tubing holes are visibly patched directly under the letters, indicating that the wording is original. According to the original owner, the name "Boston" was used because the finest shoes were believed to have been produced in that city. [map]

Ralph Martin Shoe Repair opened in 1961 and this sign was installed in 1963. The store closed in 2019 and the sign was removed. It was sold to an antiques dealer.

Miller Shoe Parlor
Jackson, MI
Mike's Shoe Hospital [gone]
Clinton, IA
Mitchem's Shoe Repair
Richmond, VA
The Miller Shoe Parlor opened in 1912. The porcelain panel sign is eleven feet wide and was installed in 1928. It was designed by J.C. Shotwell, a department store merchandiser, who worked nights in the shoe shop and persuaded the owner to have the sign built. When the store moved in 1976, the sign was brought along. The previous store was located on the second floor and had a neon arrow pointing upwards. When the store moved to new space on the ground floor, the neon tubing for "UPSTAIRS" was removed. The tubing holes are still visible under the repainted area where it now reads "SHOES." The sign is still lit at night with red letters and the shoe is outlined with white. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

Mike's Shoe Hospital closed in 2009 just after this photo was taken and the sign was removed.

The Mitchem's Shoe Repair sign had neon originally. This photo is from 2004. Around 2011, Mitchem's moved to a new location. The sign was repainted and is now installed flat against the building. [map]

George Marinakes Shoe Service
Richmond, IN
Neff's Shoes [gone]
Aurora, IN
Badger Shoe Repair [gone]
New Albany, IN
George Marinakes Shoe Service opened here in 1928. By 2015, the store was still there but the sign had been painted brown with no text. [map]

Neff's Shoes opened in 1885 and closed in 2015. The sign was installed in 1920. I don't know if it ever had neon. The sign was removed in 2018 and given to a family member. [map]

Badger Shoe Repair had been here since 1940. This photo is from 2010. The sign and business were still there in 2014. But both were gone in 2015.

Dickson Shoe Shop
Orangeburg, SC
Deluxe Service [gone]
Portland, OR
DiPrima's Shoes & Boots [gone]
Calhoun, GA
The Dickson Shoe Shop is still operating. [map]

This Deluxe Service sign hung in front of HD Loft Studios. I don't know where the sign was originally displayed. It appeared here sometime between 2011 and 2014. By 2017, it was gone.

The DiPrima's Shoes & Boots sign is believed to be from the late 1940s or early 1950s. It was originally installed at the first store in the chain in Rome, GA. The DiPrima family owned four shoe repair shops in Rome. The sign was later moved to this store in Calhoun, GA. In 2015, the sign pole was hit by a car and destroyed the sign. The owner was considering having a replica built. However, I don't believe that ever happened.

Groover's Shoe Shop
Rome, GA
2007: 2021:
Groover's Shoe Shop opened in 1940. It was later purchased by Romeo DiPrima. The DiPrima (see above) and Groover signs were most likely built by the same shop, probably at the same time. The Groover's sign was hanging by the road in 2007. By 2012, it was located next to the building. For more, see this website. [map]

City Shoe Shop
Palestine, TX
Oak Forest Shoe Shop [gone]
Houston, TX
The City Shoe Shop opened in 1943 and is still in business. Around 1958, the store moved to its current location. In the late 1950s, the owner purchased this sign from another shoe repair shop in Athens, Texas. The sign was rusted and inoperable at that time. The previous, unknown name was changed to read "City Shop" and the sign was hung over the store's entrance. In 2011, the sign was restored. It was repainted by Killion's Collision body shop. The wiring and electrical components were repaired by Henderson Electric. The sign is about five feet wide. [map]

The Oak Forest Shoe Shop sign appeared to be from the 1950s or earlier. The sign was removed around 2018.

Logan's Shoe Shop
Denton, TX
2011: 2020:
Logan's Shoe Shop has been here since the 1950s. Around 2019, the neon on the outside of the sign was removed and LED rope was added around the edges. The paint was also patched at that time. For more, see this website. [map]

Houston Shoe Hospital
Kirby Dr.
Houston, TX

Houston Shoe Hospital
Westheimer Rd.
Houston, TX
2011: 2018:

Houston Shoe Hospital
Shepherd Dr.
Houston, TX
The Houston Shoe Hospital was established in 1906. There are now nine locations in the Houston area. There are also other shops in Austin, San Antonio, Plano, and Dallas-Fort Worth. The giant shoe and text banner design was developed in the late 1940s and continues to be used for signs and advertising. For more, see this website.

The Kirby Dr. location shares the building with Pilgrim Cleaners. This rooftop sign is the oldest one, although it has been modified over the years. The 16-foot-wide sign was installed in the 1950s. It had neon until the sign was mangled by Hurricane Ike in 2008. Before repairing the grandfathered sign, each panel had to be tagged by the city and then returned to the roof after they were straightened. In 2021, the sign was briefly painted black and white. The change was so unpopular that it was repainted as the color version. There is also a modern sign in the window. For more, see this website. [map]

The Westheimer location moved in 2014 to a new location on the same street. The rooftop sign was replicated and installed on front of the building. For more, see this website. [map]

The sign at the Shepherd location is also modern. [map]

Frayser Western
Store [gone]
Memphis, TN
Safety Wearhouse
Mobile, AL
Bean Shoe Service
South Beloit, IL
This photo of the Frayser Western Store sign is from 2007. The business and sign were gone by 2011.

This boot sign at the Safety Wearhouse has been there since at least 2007 when the Mobile Shoe Hospital occupied the space. [map]

Bean Shoe Service was also established in 1917. The store featured two shoe-shaped signs. I assume that the neon sign was a double-faced sign that it originally projected from the front of the building. By 2019, the shingles on the roof had been replaced and the neon sign was gone. It was sold to a collector. The smaller, non-neon sign (shown on the right above) is still there and is attached to a pole sign. [map]

Sole Solution
Red Bank, NJ (now Little Silver, NJ)
Ventura Leather
Ventura, CA
Tony's Shoe Repair
Los Angeles, CA
Goodyear
Shoe Hospital
Birmingham, AL
The Sole Solution sign was built in 1933. This photo is from 2007. In 2009, the store moved to West Long Branch, NJ where the sign is displayed in the window. The sign was still there in 2013. By 2017, the store had moved to Little Silver, NJ and the sign was displayed in the front window there. [map]

The Ventura Leather sign might be an adapted neon shoe repair sign. [map]

The Tony's Shoe Repair sign is probably from the 1950s or so. [map]

The Goodyear Shoe Hospital opened in 1922. This sign might be from the 1940s or 1950s. [map]

Sou's Shoe Repair
Burbank, CA
2013: 2021:
The Sou's Shoe Repair sign is from 1947. It probably had neon originally. By 2016, the sign had been painted black and read "Deluxe Repair." By 2021, the panels were covered with vinyl sheets which are outlined with LED strips. [map]

Royer Boot
Granby, QC
Neal's Shoe Store & Repair
Wenatchee, WA
I believe this Royer Boot sign is modern. Royer Boots have been produced since the 1930s. This sign is mounted on the side of Le Magasin Industriel's building. For more, see this website. [map]

Neal's Shoe Store & Repair was established in 1942. The store moved to this location in 1960 and these signs are believed to have been built then. The boot panel is about six feet wide. The signs are only partially lit now. Originally, the boot sign was lit in two-part animation with the word "Repairing" and the border around the boot flashing sequentially. [map]

Boot & Saddle Bar
Philadelphia, PA
Wallace's Cowboy Outfitters
Tucson, AZ
Tino's Shoe Repair [gone]
Ottawa, IL
A-Bob's Bail Bonds
Big Spring, TX
Greer's Western Store
Eastland, TX
The Boot & Saddle nightclub opened in 1969 and this sign is from then. It is about 20 feet tall and eight feet wide. The Boot & Saddle closed in 1995. It finally reopened in 2013. In 2015, the sign was taken down for restoration by Len Davidson. The panels were too far gone and replicas had to be created. The channel letters and tubing were also recreated. The new sign was installed in 2016. The business closed in 2020 but the sign is expected to remain. For more, see this website. [map]

This sign originally advertised for Wallace's Cowboy Outfitters which moved to this location in 1967. There were at least two Golden 6 Motel signs in Phoenix and Eloy, AZ which looked very similar. Those signs which had both neon and plastic panels were probably built in the 1960s. They might have been the inspiration for the Wallace's sign. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

I have no idea how old this Tino's Shoe Repair sign was. The sign and business were still there in 2018 but both were gone by 2019.

The A-Bob's Bail Bonds sign must have advertised for a shoe/boot repair shop or a Western wear store originally. It appears to be from the 1950s. [map]

Greer's Western Store started out as a boot and shoe repair business in 1935 in Ranger, TX. The business was moved to Eastland in 1981 and operated as Greer's Department Store. The store has been at its current location since 1998. The sign looks like it might be from the 1950s or 1960s. [map]

Smithfield
Implement Co.
Smithfield, UT
Dayton Boots
Vancouver, BC
Acme Boot [gone]
Clarksville, TN
This painted boot sign at Smithfield Implement Co. is about 12 feet tall. [map]

Dayton Boots was established in 1946 as a boot manufacturer in Vancouver. The sign was built in 1950 for the opening of the factory store. It represents the company's Dayton 64 work boot which was popular with local lumber workers. The sign is maintained and is still lit at night. For more, see this website. [map]

This giant boot sign was located at the Acme Boot store. The store closed in 2001. A furniture store moved into the building but this sign was still there when this photo was taken in 2007. The sign was dismantled in 2009.

Capitol Saddlery
Austin, TX
Camargo's
Western Boots
Mercedes, TX
Jewell Boot
& Shoe Repair
Perryton, TX
Harry's Boots
San Saba, TX
M.L. Leddy Boots
San Angelo, TX
Capitol Saddlery was founded in 1930 and moved here in 1942. By 2007, the store had moved to another location. This photo is from 2011. This sign is still there. The lower text panel has been removed. [map]

I believe Camargo's Western Boots opened in 1973. This sign might be from then or it might have advertised for a previous boot store. [map]

Jewell Boot & Shoe Repair is gone but this sign remains. [map]

Harry's Boots was established in 1939 as Leader Dry Goods. Harry took over the store in the early 1950s and it was renamed Harry's Department Store. In 1971, the store expanded to the corner and that part of the building became Harry's Boot Store. The entire store is now known as Harry's Boots. However, the business still functions as a department store selling Western clothing, furniture and other goods. This giant sign is probably from the 1950s. I assume that it had neon originally. [map]

M.L. Leddy Boots was founded in 1922 in Brady, TX. The company opened this store in San Angelo in 1936. All Leddy's boots are made in San Angelo, while the company's saddles are produced at the company's headquarters in Fort Worth. For more, see this website. [map]

M.L. Leddy's Boots & Saddlery
Fort Worth, TX
Silver Spur Motel
Amarillo, TX
2011: 2018: 2011: 2017:
I believe this M.L. Leddy's Boots & Saddlery store opened in 1941. The red text sign is probably from then. The boot sign might be from the 1950s. For more, see this website. There was another location with a boot sign in Grand Prairie, TX. [map]

The Silver Spur Motel has been around since at least 1951. The neon was removed sometime after 2013. The sign was originally installed much closer to the ground, between two neon text panels which are gone now. [map]

J.L. Mercer Boots
San Angelo, TX
Wood's Boots
Colorado City, TX
2008: 2018: 2017: 2021:
J.L. Mercer Boots opened in San Angelo in 1923. This sign is from much later. It was repainted around 2012. For more, see this website. [map]

Wood's Boots opened in downtown Colorado City in 1965. The store moved to this location in 1971. This sign might have been moved here from the original location. The sign was repainted around 2019. [map]

Rick's Bar
Fargo, ND
Bronze Boot Steakhouse & Lounge [gone]
Grand Forks, ND
Regal She Company
Richmond, VA
Rick's Bar opened in 1979 and this sign was built then by the Cook Sign Company. The sign is lit with red neon. Because of the text panel's jagged, faux wood edges, circular service access panels are installed on the faces rather than the sides of the sign. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

The Bronze Boot Steakhouse & Lounge opened in 1954. The 16-foot-tall boot sign on the left above is believed to be from then. It features red neon and a spur with chasing bulbs. It is not known when the smaller boot sign was built. These photos are from 2011. In 2012, the restaurant closed. The signs were auctioned off in 2013. The larger boot sign was won by the owner of Home of Economy for $6,000. After the sign is restored, it will be displayed inside the Grand Forks store in the boot department. The smaller sign went to a private collector. For more, see this website.

The Regal Shoe Company was established in Boston in 1893 and operated its factory in Whitman, MA. The company opened hundreds of shoe stores nationally and globally. It was one of the most successful shoe companies in the world before it went bankrupt in 1922. There is a surviving brass and terrazzo apron sign in Worcester, MA. The company had cast aluminum, high-top boot signs mass-produced for its stores. These signs were featured in print advertising as early as 1909. This advertisement is from 1917. There may have been earlier copper versions which were internally lit.

The Regal boot sign shown here is located at The Valentine museum. The Regal Shoe store in Richmond opened on Broad Street in 1905. By the early 1930s, there were two sign panels above the boot flush-mounted, the full width of the facade, reading "Coast to Coast" and "Regal Shoes." The store moved to two other locations on Broad before closing in 1965. The museum acquired the sign in 1967. It sat unrestored on the lawn until 1986 when it was restored by Chewning and Wilmer Inc. in Richmond. It was then hung in the parking lot of the museum where it remains today. [map]

Before the restoration, the sign had been retrofitted with neon on one side. During the restoration, it was changed to bulbs on both sides. There is an identical boot sign at the American Sign Museum in Cincinnati. It was acquired in 2008 and has neon on one side. Starting in the late 1920s, many earlier bulb signs were either scrapped or updated with neon. These boot signs are six feet tall and weigh about seven hundred pounds. They have sockets for 132 bulbs and have spurs above their heels. There was another boot like these in Boston, MA (1 and 2).

More Shoe and Boot-Shaped Signs:
Montgomery Shoe Factory (Montgomery, AL)
Compton's Shoe Service (Burbank, CA) [map]
Valley Shoe Repair (Burbank, CA)
boot sign (Ceres, CA)
shoe & boot repair (Clearlake, CA) [gone]
Roberto's Shoe Repair (Los Angeles, CA)
Wink's Shoe Repair (San Diego, CA)
shoe repair (Rancho Cucamonga, CA)
shoe repair (Sacramento, CA)
Bob's Shoe Repair (Turlock, CA)
3rd Avenue Shoe Repair (San Mateo, CA)
shoe repair (West Hollywood, CA)
Chamption Boots & Saddlery (Grand Junction, CO)
Shoe Repairing (Albany, GA)
Fox Shoe Repairs (Augusta, GA) [gone]
shoe repair (LeClaire, IA)
shoe repair (Chicago, IL)
Goshen Electric Shoe Shop (Goshen, IN) [gone]
Dee's Shoe Repair (Shreveport, LA) [gone]
Linardi Repairing (Baltimore, MD)
Drive-in Shoe Repair (Detroit, MI)
Economy Shoes (Flint, MI)
Cobbler's Corner (Northville, MI)
Toomey's Shoe Shop (Lewiston, MT) [gone]
Hay St. Shoe Shop (Fayetteville, NC) [vintage; gone]
Frank's Modern Shoe Shop (High Point, NC) [gone]
Spur Bar & Lounge (Dickinson, ND) [map]
American Shoe Repair (Caldwell, NJ) [map]
Gold Star Shoe Repairing (Camden, NJ)
Rocco's Shoe Repair (Closter, NJ)
Agostino Shoe Repair (Hackettstown, NJ)
Bennie's Western Wear (Artesia, NM)
Andrade's Shoe Repair (New York, NY) [gone]
shoe repair (Toledo, OH)
No-D-Lay Shoe Shop (Albany, OR)
Blue Ribbon Shoe Service (Grants Pass, OR) [gone]
Sewickley Shoe Repair (Sewickley, PA)
Baker's Shoe Service (Rock Hill, SC) [gone]
Charlie's Shoe Repair (Mitchell, SD) [gone]
Rusty Spur Steakhouse (Pulaski, TN)
Heritage Boot Co. (Austin, TX) [map]
Messina's Shoe Repair (Grapevine, TX)
G&B Saddle & Boot Repair (Kilgore, TX)
Jewell Shoe Repair (Perryton, TX) [map]
Waco Shoe Hospital (Waco, TX) [map]
Modern Shoe Repairing (Provo, UT) [gone]
Suburban Shoe Center (Bristol, VA) [gone]
shoe repair (Richmond, VA)
Family Clothing Store (Centralia, WA)
G&B Shoe Rebuilders (Seattle, WA) [gone]
shoe repair (Seattle, WA)
Rocky's Shoe Shop (Clarksburg, WV) [gone]
shoe repair (Burnaby, BC)

If you know of any others, I'd love to hear from you.

Giant Shoes & Shoe Cars
Giant Boots & Spurs

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