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The Handmade Shoe Street

Travel Jung-gu

The street might only be around 100-meters long, but history is rooted deeply in the area. During the post-independence era, shops here started off by selling refurbished boots left behind by the soldiers of the U.S. army. Because of its close proximity to Seoul Station, an area bustling with people, the shops were extremely profitable. To give a simple comparison, back in the 70’s a bowl of jajangmyeon noodles cost 50 won, while handmade women’s shoes cost around 9000 won. The prices were high, but so was the demand, especially by those who considered them fashionable.

Although, it might seem weird now that this place even had its heydays (as the shops don’t seem too frequented), they still make high quality handmade dress shoes and heels. But the shops on the street have changed focus – they are now known for their high quality dance shoes. Because dancing puts a lot of pressure and stress on your feet, it is important to have shoes that fit perfectly and retain its comfort for a long duration. One noticeable difference between normal shoes and dance shoes are the sole. It’s made of a suede material because it needs to slide well on the floor. S

hoemakers here have 5 to 10 years of experience in making great shoes, and continue to receive orders from the middle-aged population. For a fully handmade pair of shoe, it will only set you back 50,000 won.

A fun fact about this street is that the signs hung up on the stores are the originals that have been created back in the 70’s. This means that all these signs have been handmade using acrylic on a type of plastic.

By: Ah Rim Won


Venue name: The Handmade Shoe Street
Address: 의주로2가 175-8

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