Shoemaking Artifacts: Racks

The rolling rack is an integral part of any shoe factory. If you were to visit our factory you’d see more shoe racks than just about anything else. We don’t keep a count but my guess is that we have hundreds of various types of racks throughout the factory.

shoes on racks
We have flat racks for finished shoes, small compartmentalized carts for leather pieces in the stitching room, specialized “lasting” racks with large wooden dowels to hold lasts (shoe forms) and lasted uppers, we even have special racks designated for sample shoes.
These racks are used from the very beginning of the process until the end when the finished shoes are packed into boxes. We set up leather for cutting on racks, move the leather pieces in smaller stitching room carts, and after the uppers are stitched they travel through the rest of the process on specialized racks.
samples shoe rack
Every shoe rack in our factory has been in existence as long as I️ can remember, passed down through the generations. Most of them are 30+ years old with some being more than 50 years old. When they break, we repair them. Nothing gets thrown away. They are sturdy works of American manufacturing; crafted from hardwood, iron and steel. I’d say they’re built to last a lifetime but many of them have made it even longer.
shoemaker with shoessinger stitching room racksshoe repair rackstockfit racksboots on shoe racksshoe lasts on a rack