George Vlagos Breathes New Life Into American Shoemaking

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George Vlagos was initially discouraged from entering the shoe business by his father, a cobbler. John Vlagos felt like he had worked too hard for his son to toil with his hands — but when George laid down his vision for Oak Street Bootmakers, his dad was ready to get behind the idea. Since then, the story has evolved into an inspiring tale of American craftsmanship. Vlagos has partnered with a Chicago-based leather company and revitalized a small-town factory.

In this episode of Uproxx’s documentary series, Human, we investigate how George Vlagos has carried on his father’s “American dream” through his commitment to building handcrafted shoes of the highest quality.