A Walk in Our Shoes
In 1883, at the age of 33, Salvatore “Sam” Maida a shoe maker from Sicily, Italy arrived in Houston, Texas to claim his stake in “the of the land of opportunity”. At the time Houston was less than fifty years old, a booming port city rich with hard working boot and shoe wearers. In 1883 a joint venture service, Maida & Cuccia, was opened in downtown Houston. Sam was the boot and shoe maker and J.C. Cuccia did the cleaning and laundry. The Maida & Cuccia company pioneered the shoemaking and cleaning/laundry one stop shop for the working man. By 1893 the company was growing so Sam sent for John L. his 10 year old son to join him in America. By 14 John L. was apprenticing under his father and did so until Sam’s death in 1901. John L. continued his fathers dream of building a quality brand by becoming Houston’s premier boot and shoe maker.
At this moment in history things began to change for shoemakers as the industrial revolution leaned towards the crafts. The mechanization process for shoes and boots was largely complete by the turn of the century and brought on the birth of mass produced footwear. Now, retailers could sell ready-to-wear footwear and the consumer did not have to wait for them to be made. Prior to this revolution, all footwear was custom (made to order) and custom shoe makers would not do repairs on footwear that they didn’t make. John L. could foresee a new opportunity and market arising for shoe repair, as the service did not exist for mass manufactured footwear. Seeing that this would be an issue for retailers and local Houstonians, he grasped the opportunity and started a repair service that could co-exist with his healthy custom footwear business.
In 1906 John L. launched Houston Shoe Hospital which grew into multiple locations around Houston and provided the necessary repair services that is still servicing Houston to this day. Today the foundation company, Maida’s Custom Footwear, is well over a century old and is dedicated to the art of leather crafting and to our valued customers. Our six generation legacy is the driving spirit behind the Maida’s brand and can seen in our designs and quality of our hand-crafted products and services.
Your Boots and Shoes
Maida’s is the oldest family owned and continuously operating boot and shoe company in the US. You may be surprised to learn that the majority of our 264 step process still uses equipment and techniques that are exactly the same ones we’ve used for more than 100 years. Your boots will be 100% hand crafted in the fine tradition of authentic master boot makers, one at a time in our Houston, Texas facility.