Shoe and Leather Workers and Repairers Career Video
Description: Operate or tend a variety of machines to join, decorate, reinforce, or finish shoes and shoe parts.
The skilled hands of a shoe maker have touched virtually every shoe purchased, along with leather products such as belts, purses, saddles, and baseball gloves. Shoe and leather workers and repairers construct and decorate shoes and a variety of leather and leather-like products. They cut shoe pieces, join them with glue or stitching, attach insoles and uppers, and then apply soles and heels. They may use special equipment to buff or trim shoe parts. For other leather products, they may dye and stain the leather before shaping it to a pattern. Some shoe makers make orthopedic footwear following a doctor’s prescription. Shoe repairers estimate repair costs for customers, and maintain a stock of materials for a variety of repairs. Shoe machine operators and tenders use a variety of machines to make shoes. After studying work orders, they adjust settings so machines properly stitch and edge shoes and operate at the correct rate. Operators collect shoe parts to move into the next stage of production, and make sure the finished products meet specifications and quality standards. Shoe machine operators may also perform basic equipment maintenance. A high school diploma or equivalent is usually needed for shoe making and repair positions.