WAYLAND – Originally opened in the 1920s, Baughs Shoe Repair in downtown Wayland is still being operated by Alan and Lois Baugh after taking the business over from his father in the 1970s. Alan’s dad took it over in 1928 from his father.
While the Baughs once had a wide selection of new shoes for sale, their primary business is just repair these days. Cutting off old heels and soles, gluing, stitching, and anything else to help restore a tired old worn-out shoe. The Baughs have been married for 62 years and still show up at the shop almost everyday. Alan says he’s tried to cut back a little, but people these days find the need to repair the shoe instead of spending money on a new pair. “$45.00 to $50.00 for soles and heels on a $200 to $300 dollar cowboy boot is well worth it.”
Alan showed us how the old soles and heels are removed, then sanded and prepared to accommodate the new ones. It’s about a 30 to 45 minute process to complete a pair, but are literally like new once finished. All of his repairs come standard with polish and a high-speed buffing wheel to restore the luster and shine. But the shoe itself has to be in decent condition to be repaired. Cedar shoe tree inserts can save the leather upper from cracking as well as regular intervals of polish and creme conditioner.
Alan says his favorite part of being in the shoe repair business is “doing the job and finishing it. Be proud of what you’ve done.” They Baughs get business from all over West Michigan being one of the only local, small town repair shops and having the lowest prices. While they don’t have a website, the business is located at 111 South Main Street in Wayland.
So the next time you’re thinking of throwing those old shoes away, think again. The Baughs Shoe Repair has been known to save a few soles…and even some heels too!