Lucky Shoes grand opening locations just in time for spring

John With Hoka
John Luck is the fourth-generation president of the 103-year-old, locally owned Lucky Shoes. The company has long been the number one New Balance dealer in Ohio. Now they’ve become the number one Hoka dealer, too. It’s just one of many exciting brands the new stores now carry all across Northeast Ohio. (Photography: Francis Angelone)

By Mimi Vanderhaven

When Joseph Luck emigrated from Kiev, Ukraine, in the early 1900s, he arrived through Ellis Island and became a tenement tailor in New York City before heading west to the booming rubber town of Akron, Ohio. He started selling clothing and boots from a push cart in 1914, and opened his first storefront in 1919.

Now—103 years later—his great-great grandson is at the helm of the family business known as Lucky Shoes, which has grown to five locations in Northeast Ohio, plus stores in Columbus and Mason.

The secret to the company’s success and longevity is three-fold: 1) carrying a large inventory of quality shoe brands in hard-to-find sizes; 2) offering top-notch service that includes a staff well trained in how to fit a shoe properly; and 3) constant innovation.

The most recent innovation is the conversion this month of the company’s New Balance stores to the Lucky brand.

“New Balance is still a huge part of our business,” explains company president John Luck. “It’s a high-quality product and they’ve been a great partner over the years. But now, under the Lucky icon, we are carrying an even larger selection of up-and-coming brands.”

Lucky Shoes’ New Balance stores have transformed into all-new Lucky Running locations (left) in Strongsville, Fairlawn and Canton, and Lucky Shoes locations (right) in Westlake and Shaker Hts. The move allows the Luck family to offer exciting new brands in addition to their large selection of New Balance.

The New Stores

The former New Balance stores have become Lucky Shoes locations in Westlake and Shaker Heights, and where there were already Lucky Shoes stores—Strongsville, Fairlawn and Canton—the New Balance stores have become Lucky Running, which is dedicated to footwear and accessories for active adults.

“In addition to New Balance, our new Lucky Running locations carry some highly popular lines,” John says. “You’ll find Saucony, Altra, Hoka, Brooks, and On Running, which makes you feel like you’re running on clouds.” The stores also feature accessories like Handful sports bras.

Other brands include Oboz, Dansko, Birkenstock, and Oofos, the latter of which is an ultra-comfortable flip-flop with a full inch of squishy foam. “We’ve also introduced Taos,” John shares. “These are sandals and canvas tennis shoes with cork in the foot bed. They are the hot, new comfort shoe. And one of my favorites right now is Rieker. No one’s heard of them, but everyone who tries them on loves them.”

John says introducing exciting, new brands to his customers is exactly the purpose of the new stores.

Dedicated to Comfort and Fit

Most Lucky Shoes customers are interested in style, but also comfort and fit. Yes, this includes athletes, runners, walkers and hikers, but also cashiers, servers, teachers and healthcare workers—anyone who stays on their feet.

“People don’t often think about it, but 25% of the bones in our body are in our feet,” John reveals. “If you take care of your feet, they will take care of everything above them. That’s why a proper fit is so essential. It’s a matter of personal health.”

Lucky Shoes also receives referrals from area podiatrists. “We help people with biomechanical pain related to poor shoes or lack of support,” John explains. “Physicians know we take the time to ensure a proper fit. But remember, your shoe size can vary among manufacturers.”

Those responsible for ensuring your proper fit are the Lucky staff members, and John beams when he discusses them. “I cannot tell you what a fantastic job our crew has done,” he says. “How hard they’ve worked during the store conversions. Changing a store—let alone seven of them—is not easy. This team is awesome.”

Grand opening promotional events are scheduled throughout the spring. Stop by any Lucky Shoes or Lucky Running location for special unadvertised incentives:

- LUCKY SHOES EVENTS -

AETREX April 24– 30

ON RUNNING May 1–7

BIRKENSTOCK May 8 –14

VIONIC May 15–21

TAOS May 22–28


- LUCKY RUNNING EVENTS -

SAUCONY April 24-30

ON RUNNING May 1-7

APPAREL WEEK May 8-14

Lucky Shoes stores are in Westlake, Strongsville, Shaker Heights, Fairlawn, Canton, Columbus, and Mason, Ohio. Visit LuckyShoes.com for details.