In a country not usually known for it’s footwear, Paraboot stands out as one of the finest French shoe manufacturers. Remy-Alexis Richard, the founder of Paraboot, began creating footwear in 1908 with the intention of developing an “indestructible shoe.” In 1926 Richard came to America and realized that American’s had begun to wear shoes made from a material that Richard had never seen before, rubber. Richard traced the material back to the Amazon, where he then brought it through the Para sea port (the source of the brand’s name, Para-Boot) before arriving in France. The merits of rubber were instantly recognized by Richard and Paraboot began producing handcrafted shoes in nearly every style on top of a durable rubber sole. For over a century, Paraboot has remained a family owned business (Remy-Alexis’ grandson Michael still runs the company today) and has adhered to the same goal of producing sturdy, quality footwear.
I purchased my pair of Paraboot beef rolled penny loafers from C.H.C.M. right around the start of this year, and after wearing them nearly every other day for the past few months I can definitely say that Richard’s aim of producing an indestructible shoe has been accomplished. The rubber sole is still as complete as the day I bought the shoes without any real signs of wear. The balance between the rubber sole and the leather upper give the loafers a unique aesthetic as a formal shoe with the durability of a sneaker. As we enter into warmer months an everyday slip on that can be worn both casually and dressed up becomes an essential, and Paraboot’s loafer certainly lives up to that.