Charm Harness & Boot began as harness maker, extended line to boots and shoes

Shoes and much more have been added to line at Charm Harness & Boot

By KELLEY MOHR Staff Writer Published:

At Charm Harness & Boot, customers can find footwear and workwear in top-name brands.

With nearly 8,200 square feet of store space and an inventory of more than 18,000 pairs of shoes and boots, the store provides a wide selection of merchandise.

The store, which serves as a one-stop destination for name-brand shoes and boots for the whole family, has grown tremendously in the past 31 years, explained store manager Allen Miller.

Renting a small harness shop in Charm from Joe Erb in 1982, Roy Miller started the business selling harnesses -- the shoes were almost an afterthought.

"When dad started our business 30 years ago, he started with 72 pairs of Red Wing work shoes," said Miller.

The shoe business stuck, however, and Charm Harness & Boot moved into its new location across the street in 2004.

Boots come in all types: Everything from casual boots to dress boots, and even work boots that feature safety toes.

The store carries a large selection of work-related gear as well in brands like Timberland, Rocky, Justin, Red Wing, Danner, Durango, Lucchese, Keen, Merrel, Vasque, Chippewa, the Muck Boot, Bogs, Wolverine, Chippewa, Irish Setter, Thorogood, Danner and Georgia Boot.

"We've always been known for our men's work shoes, but now we also have something to offer everyone," said Miller.

This includes name-brand fashion for men, women and children, with items like The North Face apparel, Born Footwear, Uggs and Vibram FiveFingers in stock, along with a wide variety of running shoes by Under Armour, Brooks, Skechers, Reebok, K-Swiss and Salomon.

Especially popular with women are the western products, said Miller.

"The western thing is in," he said, noting that sales of western boots for women, especially those with bling on them, have increased. The store carries a variety of Western and dress boots for men and women from brands like Corral, Justin, Ariat, Tony Lama, Dan Post, Durango and Lucchese.

As a newer item, the store has a large selection of rubber boots, many in bright colors and fun designs, from brands like Bogs, Sorrel and Muck Boots,

"For years rubber boots were just rubber boots. Now they are adding colors and making rubber boots more fun," said Miller.

The store also carries a full-line of stylish quality apparel -- both work and casual -- for the entire family, with clothes, jackets, jeans and more from brands like Under Armour, Columbia, The North Face, Stormy Kromer, Stetson, Smartwool and Carhartt's, including Carhartt's flame-resistant products.

"We do carry big and tall sizes. We try to also cater to big guys," said Miller, noting that the same goes for footwear. "We have big sizes and narrow sizes, so that everyone can find something that fits."

Charm Harness & Boot also offers an assortment of high-end hunting and hiking boots, including Italian-made Kenetreck and Crispi, German-made Lowa and Haix and hiking boots made by Keen, Merrell, Vasque, Salomon, Columbia, Asolo and Brooks.

"We try to have a good selection of high-end hiking boots. It's something that is hard to find," said Miller.

The store also has many "Grandma grabbers," as Miller calls them, name-brand apparel for babies and children by Carhartt's and John Deere, as well as miniature cowboy boots and slippers.

And as the name implies, the store still sells a selection of harnesses and saddles.

Besides offering shoes, boots and apparel in many makes and models, Charm Harness & Boot provides a full-service shoe repair shop right across the street.

"We still offer full shoe repair and re-soling. It's kind of a lost art these days," said Miller, noting that the shop also performs build-ups.

Despite the large selection and store-space, Charm Harness still offers shopper a small store atmosphere.

"We're still a family-owned shoe store and we try to keep that family-owned atmosphere," said Miller. The pedal-tractors on shelves and the hunting trophies on the walls add to the fun.

Along with owner Roy Miller, the shop is managed by his three sons -- Allen, Leroy and David -- with five full-time employees: Mary Lou, Regina, Roy D., LuCinda and Twila.

"Customer service is our goal," said Miller.

Store representatives can help customers navigate through the many store selections to find the right item. For example, if a welder comes in, Miller will direct him toward shoes that suit his trade. If a timber worker comes looking for shoes, Miller will steer him toward a more aggressive pair.

The store also works with companies whose employees are required to wear steel-toed boots.

"We try to help the customer find the shoe for his or her need," said Miller.

"We always try to keep new inventory coming in and out to keep it interesting," said Miller, noting that in addition to shoes and boots, the store stocks everything from socks, hats and gloves to purses, sunglasses and pocket knives.

The store also performs special orders and accepts mail-order items if the sought-after item isn't in-store.

Charm Harness & Boot has two sales each year -- one in the spring and one in the fall. For the Spring Sale, the store will 10 percent off store-wide on April 19-20.

Charm Harness & Boot is located at 4432 County Road 70, Charm 44617. Hours are Monday and Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call 330-893-0402.

Reporter Kelley Mohr can be reached at 330-674-5676 or kmohr@the-daily-record.com.

Want to leave your comments?

Sign in or Register to comment.