Historic shoe store at new location
by Anna Oakes
One of the Boone area's oldest businesses is settling in at a new location after decades in downtown Boone.
Dancey's Comfort Footwear is now located at 390 N.C. 105 Extension in Boone, with 4,000 square feet to house its expanding offerings of orthopedic shoes, work boots, casual footwear and running and walking shoes.
The shoe store originally opened in the early 1950s as Bill's Shoe Store on King Street, said IvaLee Dancey of Vilas. IvaLee and Howard Dancey bought the business in 1970 and operated Dancey's Shoes until 2001, she said.
"At one time, it and the Farmers Hardware was about the only ones that had been there (in downtown the longest)," Dancey said.
The Danceys sold the business to the Reese family, and two years ago BFRW Inc. purchased the store. Russell Gullett is the store manager.
Gullett said the business began carrying more brands and shifted focus to concentrate on comfort and pain relief in footwear. The 800-square-foot downtown location was soon "busting at the seams," he said, and parking was a challenge, especially for the store's elderly and disabled customers. These factors prompted the recent move to the N.C. 105 Extension location.
"We wanted our own parking lot," he said. "It has been very nice being over here."
The in-store iStep machine provides free evaluations of customers' foot issues to help staff find the right shoes for them. Nowadays, orthopedic shoes can correct a number of foot problems while still being fashionable, Gullett noted.
"You can't even tell it's an orthopedic shoe," he said.
Comfort shoes and safety-toed boots are available for employees of the area's medical, service and other industries. In addition, the store is expanding its stock of running and walking shoes.
"I want to cater to runners and sports walkers," said Gullett.
The store is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call (828) 264-8581 or search for the Dancey's Comfort Footwear page on Facebook.