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Shoe Machine Worker  What They Do

Just the Facts


Operates or tends a variety of machines to join, decorate, reinforce, or finish shoes and shoe parts.

This career is part of the Manufacturing cluster Production/Process Technology pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Studies work orders or shoe part tags to obtain information about workloads, specifications, and the types of materials to be used.
  • Removes and examines shoes, shoe parts, and designs to verify conformance to specifications such as proper embedding of stitches in channels.
  • Performs routine equipment maintenance such as cleaning and lubricating machines or replacing broken needles.
  • Cuts excess thread or material from shoe parts, using scissors or knives.
  • Turns screws to regulate size of staples.
  • Aligns parts to be stitched, following seams, edges, or markings, before positioning them under needles.
  • Turns setscrews on needle bars, and positions required numbers of needles in stitching machines.
  • Switches on machines, lowers pressure feet or rollers to secure parts, and starts machine stitching, using hand, foot, or knee controls.
  • Collects shoe parts from conveyer belts or racks and places them in machinery such as ovens or on molds for dressing, returning them to conveyers or racks to send them to the next work station.
  • Positions dies on material in a manner that will obtain the maximum number of parts from each portion of material.

Related Careers


Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Lighting is either extremely bright or inadequate
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Assembler --
  • Boot and Shoe Repairman --
  • Boot Maker --
  • Cutter --
  • Finisher --
  • Fitter --
  • Inseamer --
  • Insole Department Worker --
  • Side Laster --
  • Stitcher --