‘Boot Doctor’ has right prescription for your feet

Friday, October 12, 2018, Vol. 42, No. 41
By Tim Ghianni

Jeffrey Lloyd, also known as the “Boot Doctor,” shares a laugh with customers at Boot Country.

-- Michelle Morrow | The Ledger

With his seemingly permanent smile, Jeffrey Lloyd, 58, is a much-valued employee at Boot Country down on Lower Broadway.

“I am The Boot Doctor,” he says, proudly. “I can look at a person’s foot and tell what size they wear.”

He says he’s had this unique talent ever since his youth as one of 11 children growing up in Chicago. He moved down to Nashville to be with his mother, Yvonne Lloyd, 90, who retired to be in her hometown.

Lloyd came to Boot Country four years ago after 15 years as a sales consultant at Ashley Furniture’s corporate offices at Rivergate, he explains. And he’s happy about that career change. “You can call me Jeffrey, you can call me the Boot Doctor, you can call me anything, just don’t call me late for dinner.”

The people he meets are his reward for all the boot doctoring he’s done.

“I grew up with a lot of siblings, and I like people,” he says, adding he really enjoys “dealing with people from far regions, any region you can imagine. Overseas….” from whom he’s learned a lot about humanity.

One thing he’s noticed is that country music fans from England, in particular, “come here for cowboy boots, but they buy motorcycle boots.” God bless the Queen.

The good doctor looks over at a new face in the store, Mike Malone, 44, from Jeffersonville, Indiana, who is here with his wife, Tessie, 43.

“Take off your shoes, so I can look at your feet,” says the Boot Doctor, who looks closely at Mike’s stockinged-feet before disappearing into the maze of boots and customers.

While he and Tessie wait, Mike explains that they are Philadelphia Eagles fans, primarily because of “Rocket” Randall Cunningham, one of the pioneering black NFL quarterbacks who spent 11 of his 16 pro years in Philly.

Mike, an independent contractor, says he wears work boots, not cowboy boots, but explains “Tessie is trying to bring the cowboy out in me” by encouraging him to buy a pair.

He is a country music fan of sorts. “I like the old stuff, Johnny Cash,” he says, shaking his head when asked about the bro-country movement.

The Boot Doctor returns with a pair of squared-toe, beige-on-brown boots and tells Mike to put them on.

“Feel it,” he says, noting that there is “a small pop when the foot goes into a boot that fits properly.”

Mike smiles, verifying he felt the pop. “I can’t believe you,” he tells the Boot Doctor. “These fit great. I don’t like the style, but the fit is great.”

“I’m just trying them for the fit,” says the Doc, again retreating into the rows of shelves to find a style that might fit this shopper.

Meanwhile, Mike looks over at Tessie.

“If I’m getting a pair, she’s getting a pair, too. We’ll wear them when we go out.”

“No man is an island,” the Boot Doctor says later, philosophizing about his calling. “My personality is to be helpful with people, put them in the right boot size and have them come back and see me. I like that.”