Paraboot Brand Guide | Blog | Aphrodite

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Paraboot Brand Guide

For anyone interested in quality, well-constructed footwear, the Made in England and Made in Italy labels have become synonymous with the best of the best, denoting companies that have decades, if not centuries of experience and know-how at their disposal. But in between these two countries, one company has quietly crafted a niche for itself as a maker of superb outdoor shoes with a timeless, rugged appeal: the Paraboot brand.

The History of the Paraboot Brand

The Paraboot brand was originally founded in 1908 in Izeaux, a small village at the foot of the French Alps, by Remy Richard, an ambitious son of a farming family. Richard had begun working as a factory agent, selling his designs to clients in Paris and having them made in a shoe factory in Iseaux, creating the ‘Chausseures Extra’ brand of high-end, leather-soled shoes, which proved a major success.

In his travels across the world – to show off his product at trade shows – Richard made it to the United States, where he was intrigued by the rubber-soled boots worn by the Americans, and saw great potential in latex as a new material for his own shoes.

After acquiring vulcanisation patents from Charles Goodyear Jr, as well as stitching techniques from his father, Richard began developing a process of attaching these rubber soles that were both watertight and sturdy enough to withstand extended use. In 1927 he debuted boots using this technique under the name Paraboot — from ‘Para’, a port in Amazonia where the latex was exported from — and cemented the direction of his brand to this day.

In 1937, Remy’s son Julien joined the company, taking the helm from his father. Unlike Remy, Julien cared little for the city, preferring outdoor pursuits like angling, hunting and horse riding. He decided that this was an audience the company should be targeting, as there was a gap in the market for outdoor shoes and boots with the level of quality and craftsmanship that the Paraboot brand could offer.

This was a risky proposition at the time, with the Occupation looming and most companies opting for cost-saving materials and techniques. But Julien stuck to his guns, which paid off with his clientele of farmers, factory workers and builders, who appreciated such robust yet comfortable boots. Alongside these heavy-duty models, Paraboot also debuted less technical models for architects, doctors and surveyors, including the Morzine, the precursor to the legendary Paraboot Michael shoe, which remains the brand’s iconic model to this day.

Thanks to their dedication to quality, tradition and craftsmanship, the original factory in France has survived where many others have since folded, and it is here that the Paraboot brand still craft shoes to this day, to the same specifications as all those years ago.

Paraboot Styles

In keeping with the brand’s DNA, Paraboot shoes are still durable enough for the outdoors, yet timelessly stylish enough to be worn in the city. Whether opting for a full outdoor-heritage aesthetic, or paired with more directional styles, the Paraboot brand makes a distinctive alternative to more mainstream shoe brands.

The Paraboot Michael shoe boasts a chunky profile with a moccasin-style upper on a commando sole unit, and is easily dressed up or down depending on what you want to wear with it; team with a substantial wool suit trouser for a smart look, or with cropped or rolled corduroy pants for a more casual vibe. The rubber sole and cork-filled footbed ensure that the shoes mould to the wearer’s feet, becoming more and more comfortable over time.
The Avioraz boot is a classic mountaineering boot in waxy leather with a heavy-ridged tread, striped rope laces and metal lace hardware, while still boasting a slim, well-proportioned shape that balances style and functionality perfectly. Team them with heavy jeans or substantial wool trousers and your favourite knitwear to get yourself ready for winter.

Paraboot at Aphrodite

Aphrodite are proud UK stockists of the Paraboot brand. Explore the Paraboot Michael or Avioraz online at Aphrodite today and enjoy express shipping.

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