“Paraboot makes shoes my grandad would have worn!” We can’t deny that Paraboot probably made shoes for your grandfather, uncle and maybe your father! Ever since its inception in the early 20th century, the brand has been producing leather shoes made to last. In our workshops located at the foot of the Alps, our artisans continue the tradition of producing hand-stitched footwear akin to “grandad shoes”.

Seeking reliable, sturdy shoes

In 1945, following the Second World War, Paraboot began to build its reputation of manufacturing reliable and sturdy shoes. With the emphasis on style, the brand launched a Derby shoe with a truly simple construction: the Michael.

Two eyelets, cotton laces and a piped seam to create a basic trim: these were the distinctive elements found on the Michael shoe. But the success of this model lay first and foremost in its construction, namely Norwegian stitching. The upper is stitched to the sole using a welt, with both seams remaining visible. This type of stitching ensures that the shoes are comfortable, sturdy and completely waterproof, to cater to the customer’s needs.

Over time, customers nicknamed this model the Paraboot, taking on the name of the brand itself. And for almost 80 years, your grandfather’s shoe has proven to be timeless and suitable for any generation and style.

The grandad shoe: winning over new generations

Michael, Chambord and Avignon: many of the brand’s models are now deemed to be menswear classics.

Initially, men seeking simple shoes for everyday wear were won over by the rubber sole and understated lines.

That’s why doctors, lawyers and architects were big fans of Paraboot shoes.

Once considered to be a footwear brand catering for older generations, various events around ten years ago meant that Paraboot’s “grandad shoe” was thrust back into the forefront of fashion.

Japanese and American influences

One of the main drivers was fashion, as major French fashion houses began to be inspired by Japanese trends and British tailoring: wide cuts and smart finishes. The footwear brand featured on the podiums at Paris Fashion Week for Sacaï, Lemaire, Etudes Studio and more.

American streetwear brands such as Carhartt, North Project and American Vintage subsequently included Paraboot models in their lookbooks.

Cela avant que la marque ne soit distribuée dans les plus prestigieux concept stores “Tiers 0” comme Colette, Goodhood, Noah, Kith, ou pour les plus jeunes Centre commercial Paris (appartenant au fondateur de VEJA).

Many influencers now wear the brand’s products, such as Tylor the Creator in the USA, Ama Lou in the UK and Orelsan in France, bringing the brand right up to date.


Paraboot follows the latest trends by producing models in collaboration with prestigious brands such as Hermès, Sacaï, Lemaire, Aimé Leon Dore and Patou, and more recently The North Face.

Sometimes, establishments request a special edition. A short time ago, Paraboot collaborated with the famous Milan-based concept store 10 Corso Como to create an exclusive series of just 20 pairs.

More recently, the brand positioned itself in skate culture by teaming up with brands such as Tightbooth in Japan and Hélas in Europe.

Younger generations will recognise Paraboot collaborations in trendy brands such as Drôle de Monsieur and Walk in Paris.

The Made in France concept

Interest in the brand has seen a recent revival due to its determination to champion French expertise. Whilst some shoe manufacturers have moved their production abroad, Paraboot has chosen to adjust its selling price in order to continue making its shoes on French soil.

In return, the company has been awarded Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant (Living Heritage Company) status. This government award scheme is a way to champion French companies demonstrating craftsman expertise and excellence. As the parent company of the Paraboot brand, Richard-Pontvert is proud to align with these criteria.

One brand, several styles

Constantly reinventing itself, the brand appeals to all generations and styles. Our design office ensures we offer a wide range of shoes to suit any style, whilst retaining all the hallmarks of Paraboot footwear. The full range comprises the following collections:

The deck shoe

These hand-stitched shoes are made from the very best leathers to ensure they are supple as well as smart. They are directly inspired by Blake stitching found on Native American moccasins, a technique used by Paraboot since the 1960s. Our flagship model is the Barth, that can be worn in a classic or quirky style

Ankle boots

Ideal for colder weather, Paraboot ankle boots come in a choice of styles to create a smart or outdoor look. Still constructed using Goodyear or Norwegian stitching, they provide guaranteed comfort whilst keeping your feet dry.

Derby and Oxford shoes

Also known as low-top shoes, dress shoes are a core range for Paraboot. They appeal to younger generations looking for a fashionable style as well as our more traditional clientèle. As a result, the Michael shoe lends itself to a whole host of very different situations, worn by bridegrooms, stylists, clergymen or even farmers!


With or without a strip across the upper, loafers are a timeless classic. Some of our designs, such as the Columbia model, are inspired by the college model based on an original American shoe known as the ‘penny loafer’. The college loafer owes its name to the penny which was often slid inside the slot of the strip to give the shoe a more stylish look.


As illustrated by the Pacific model, Paraboot men’s sandals were initially designed for monks living in the Grande Chartreuse monastery in the Alps. Ideal for walking, these men’s shoes are now winning over younger generations seeking a more ventilated design to wear in summer, with or without socks. 


To cater for the growing demand for contemporary, high-quality trainers, our design office came up with the Cosmos and Nova models made from superior quality leather. Boasting the same exemplary lines and fit as the brand’s other models, they are instantly recognisable to our loyal customers as belonging to the Paraboot family.

Putting the emphasis on durability

Previous generations have always stayed loyal to our brand due to the success of the classic “grandad shoe”. Made in France using premium leathers, each shoe goes through over 150 operations in the manufacturing process.

Goodyear or Norwegian stitching means that the shoes can be resoled once they become worn. You can therefore extend the lifespan of your shoes to ensure they remain comfortable, hardwearing and waterproof – thus retaining all their best attributes.

This is a major advantage at a time when we are becoming more mindful of our consumer habits, with the emphasis on recycling and sustainability. Maybe your grandfather was ahead of his time when he bought Paraboot shoes, after all!