As an old store with 80 years' tradition, Songlim Handmade Shoes has been sticking only to handmade shoes since its opening in 1936 in Eulji-ro even during the time when many other stores changed their businesses and signboards. It is making almost any kind of shoes such as business shoes, golf shoes, hiking shoes, and specialized shoes. It is a master's shoe store carrying the description "Korea's first" in the history of Korean shoes.
Q. Do you have any interesting stories about the name of your store and the opening of your store?
A. Songlim Handmade Shoes started out as Songlim Shoe Store in 1936 and changed its name a couple of times before settling on its final name, Songlim Handmade Shoes. It has maintained the name until now. The founder of the shoe store (Mr. Lee Gwi-seok) learned how to make shoes at Sangdong Shoe Store, which was operated by a Korean during the Japanese occupation of Korea in 1933; he established a framework for this store, and my father (Mr. Lim Hyo-seong), who was the founder's nephew, added something new to the shoe-making techniques.
When my father was operating this store, many customers ordered hiking shoes. Explorers who experience extreme conditions need shoes that are made based on information about the temperature, humidity, and climate of the area they will visit, so they cannot be satisfied with ready-made shoes. Mountaineer Ko Sang-don, the first Korean to hike Mt. Everest in 1977, and explorer Heo Young-ho who reached the three ends of the Earth and climbed seven summits for the first time in the world are regular customers of Songlim.