Shoemaker Day Date in the current year: November 26, 2022

Shoemaker Day Shoemaker Day is an informal professional holiday celebrated on November 26 every year. Although it is sometimes referred to as “International Shoemaker Day” or “World Shoemaker Day”, it is virtually unknown outside the Russian-speaking segment of the Internet.

Shoemaking is one of the oldest crafts in the world. For most of human history, shoes were made by hand. It was a time- and labor-consuming process, and masters, journeymen and apprentices would typically work together, dividing up the work into individual tasks, to be able to make a pair as shoes as quickly as in a day.

The industrialization of the 19th century made it possible to mass-produce shoes, and shoemaking has transformed from a traditional handicraft/cottage industry to a bona fide industry. By the end of the century, large factories had become the principal producers of footwear. Mass production was more economically efficient than making shoes by hand, but it also meant that most shoes weren’t tailored to customers’ exact measurements anymore.

Of course, traditional shoemakers still exist today. They can be subdivided into two big groups: shoemakers in low-income developing and least developed countries, where industry is underdeveloped and the livelihood of many people depends on traditional handicrafts, and shoemakers in developed countries who create made-to-measure and bespoke shoes that can cost thousands of dollars.

There are also people for whom shoemaking is a hobby rather than a business. Some of them upcycle old leather into footwear for the sake of sustainability, and some are historical reenactors who make shoes by hand because they like their period costumes to be as historically accurate as possible.

And although people who work at shoe factories aren’t shoemakers in the traditional sense of the word, they still deserve recognition because without them, we won’t have access to the impressive choice of footwear that we are offered today. So Shoemaker Day is definitely their holiday, too, regardless of which role they play in the shoemaking process.

The origins of Shoemaker Day are unclear, but since there is hardly any information about it in non-Russian-language sources, it was probably invented by one of Russian sites dedicated to holidays and special events. Be that as it may, it is hard to overestimate the importance of shoemaking, so shoemakers, footwear designers and cobblers (people who repair shoes) definitely deserve a professional holiday. If you know someone who designs, makes or repairs shoes for a living, don’t forget to congratulate them on November 26!

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Category

Professional Days, Unofficial Holidays

Country

Russia

Tags

Shoemaker Day, unofficial holidays, professional holidays, shoemaking