“85% of the shoes sold in Canada are made in China.” That’s what I learned from the clerk at the third shoe store I visited today. She seemed to know a little more than the other stores’ clerks, whose best answer to the question “do you sell any shoes that are manufactured in Canada?” was to “just google it”. Right, because that never occurred to me.
I need shoes. I need a new pair of running shoes, and some hiking shoes. By the year’s end, I’ll need some new dress shoes, too. So, before we get started on the subject of investments (for that’s March’s category), I wanted to do some research into footwear.
Pounding the mall pavement got me nowhere. According to their staff, there wasn’t a single shoe in Ronsons, Town Shoes or Aldo’s that was made in Canada.
I did, however, make some progress wielding the aforementioned Google and collecting a few tips on the 1Y1C Facebook page. What did I learn?
- La Canadienne makes women’s shoes in Montreal (they’ve got some nice shots of their manufacturing facility on that page). Unfortunately, I’m disinclined to cross-dress.
- Nor am I particularly butch. If I was, I could consider Viberg’s vast array of boots for dock workers, loggers or just plain stomping around. Along similar lines, I’ve sent a note to Mark’s Work Wearhouse to see if they have any footwear that qualifies.
- Now we’re talking: Roots makes a few lines of men’s shoes in their Toronto factory. In a pinch, I could see myself wearing these.
I also found a number of local manufacturers of Canadian cliches: winter boots and moccasins.
So, not a complete failure, but my feet still aren’t ready for jogging or hiking. I’ll soldier on with worn-out shoes.
UPDATE (March 11, 2011): I heard back from Mark’s Work Wearhouse. They sent me a list of footwear that’s made in Canada–for men it’s all work boots and shoes, nothing in the running, dress or hiking category.