Paraboot began in the late nineteenth century in Izeaux, a small village at the foot of the Alps. Rémy-Alexis Richard, born in 1878 into a humble farming family, became a semi-skilled cutter at Chevron, one of a score of shoe factories in this Isère village, who received orders from contractors from Paris. He soon realised that these contractors earned more money than his own boss, and decided to try his luck; he went up to Paris with the designs for his own models to sell them as a "factory agent". His plan worked and in 1908, he began to hire his own staff.
From Paris to London via Amsterdam, Rémy Richard loved travelling and tradeshows. In 1926, although he didn’t speak a word of English, he set sail for the United States. With an eye for innovation, he noticed the rubber “boots” worn by the Americans, and above all the assets of this brand-new material, also known as latex, hevea or gum. Rémy Richard registered the Paraboot name in 1927, from "Para" – a port in Amazonia, where the latex was exported from, and "boot" – the interesting new shoe he had discovered in the United States.
Julien, Rémy Richard's son, enters the company in 1937, he is 20 years old. He refocused production on impressive thick leather soles. Still using Goodyear or "Norwegian construction, these were aimed at people working in a standing position; farmers, horse dealers, lumberjacks, shepherds, factory and postal workers, and craftsmen who needed to be able to rely on sturdy but comfortable shoes. Parallel with a technical lace-up boot, he created a few "light-duty" models for architects, surveyors and veterinary surgeons. In 1945, it was the legendary model “Michael” that saw the light.
Without ignoring its roots, the model Michael does evolve with society. It’s timeless and carries the brand’s values with pride, on 5 different continents. Throughout recycling and collaborations, the model has known 70 interesting years, filled with emotions.
In 2017, Paraboot opened a store in Tokyo, in the famous Ginza district, and one in Sapporo. The brand is back at Le Printemps and Galleries Lafayette in Paris. Grounded in the historical background of the French industry, Paraboot is made possible by the passionate women and men; a family that linked its destiny to the company's, since now 4 generations.
Inspired by their history and heritage, we matched five Paraboot shoes with different outfits at our store. Enjoy!