Comfortable shoes that stand the test of time

Kaylah Joelle Baker

If there is one thing Watt’s Shoe Store knows, it’s how to provide high-quality, sturdy, well-fitted shoes for new and long-standing customers.

The family business has been running for more than a century and has become an irreplaceable part of Lygon St, so much so that the City of Melbourne named the laneway behind the store Watt Lane.

After being opened in 1895 by surgical and bespoke bootmaker William Luttgens, the store soon changed names when it was purchased by the Watt family, and it remains within the family to this day.

Joe Watt is the current owner of the store, and while he wasn’t always sure he would follow in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps, Mr Watt did work with his father for 20 years at the store, prior to becoming in charge when his dad died.


“My grandfather bought the business from the man who originally started it, and then Dad took over, and then I took over when he passed away in 2016, and I am happy to continue providing the service we do for as long as we can,” Mr Watt said.


“We provide a good service, especially with the more orthopaedic style of shoes that aren’t easy to find, because there aren’t many around.”



While many shoe stores these days may worry about keeping up with the latest trends, Mr Watt is proud to head a store that continues to do their own thing and excel at what they know.

Due to the Watt family continuing to pass down skills of the bootmaking trade and shoe repairs, Watt’s Shoe Store is the place to go if in need of someone with extensive knowledge on what makes a good quality comfort shoe.



In addition to the retail section, repair and orthopaedic services are also still available.

“We generally do more comfort sort of shoes, so not high fashion,” he said.


It’s more about sticking to having everyday, comfortable, wearable shoes, which relates back to what we have always done.


Using his many years of experience, Mr Watt ensures that customers always leave with a shoe that fits properly and is perfect for the precise job they want it for.

It is this trustworthy approach and service that has seen customers continue to come back and has seen the business build a loyal base of regular customers, ranging from students and professors to parents and grandparents.

Watt’s Shoe Store is located at 264 Lygon St and is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm, and Saturday until 2pm. •

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