La Canadienne

The best winter boots I have ever owned are from La Canadienne. Hands down. The best. No contest.

My La Canadienne boots are the most comfortable, waterproof, non-slip and resilient winter boots I have ever had the pleasure of wearing.

If you’re envisioning a clunky, rubber boot/winter boot hybrid, you couldn’t be more wrong. These boots are fashionable and can be worn with a skirt or dress. In fact, there have been many winter days when I haven’t even bothered to switch into shoes when I get into the office. They’re that lovely.

And the quality is second to none. I bought two pairs of their boots in fall 2008 – one black pair and one tan. That’s nine winters ago. I’ve worn both pairs every winter until this year. The black pair had finally seen their end. The tan pair lives on.

While the price tag may seem daunting at first (their waterproof boots range from $400-$600), they are worth every single loonie. In 2008, I paid $350 for each pair of boots, and they lasted eight winters (plus more, in the case of the tan pair). Over eight winters, at $350, the black boots cost me $43.75 per winter. And that’s a long, Canadian winter. A wet, slushy, icy, wretched Canadian winter that seems to last for half of the year. What kind of boots can you get for $43.75? Ugly, crappy, plastic, junk boots, that’s what.

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This lil’ pair of boots is trudging through its NINTH winter!

 

What makes La Canadienne stand out?

La Canadienne was founded in Montreal in 1961. According to their website, their aim was to “create comfortable, versatile boots that would offer unbeatable protection against the cold, wet Canadian climate.” N-n-n-nailed it!

Their collection of waterproof boots is made in their factory in Montreal. It is one of the last family-owned shoe factories in the country, with more than 70 years of experience manufacturing footwear.

They use environmentally friendly dyes and high quality Italian hides that are by-products of the food industry. I mean … !

My boots lasted eight winters. And they were lovely to wear. The quality was second to none and they looked great. What more could you ask for? A matching handbag, perhaps?

How do La Canadienne’s signature elements translate into their web and social media presence?

If you scroll down a little on La Canadienne’s website, it becomes clear that the “made in Canada” element of their brand is one that’s important to the company and its customers. It is a distinctive brand value. There is even a “how it’s made” section of their website which takes customers through the manufacturing process, from design to packaging.

Their site also offers the option of a “personal online shopping appointment.” This option signals that La Canadienne is different from your average footwear retailer. There is an element of luxury, attention to detail, and personalized customer service that is certainly not the norm.

In terms of social media presence, the company is active on Facebook and Instagram, and the “made in Canada by Canadians” is clearly a signature sell for them. Their Facebook page and Instagram accounts feature gorgeous photos of models wearing La Canadienne products in wintry Canadian settings. Customer comments underneath the photos are raving about the workmanship of the footwear. The brand is sophisticated, cool, and comfortably Canadian.

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Photo Credit: La Canadienne Facebook page

What can we learn from La Canadienne?

Though their website and Facebook page definitely highlight the distinctive qualities of the brand, customer satisfaction reigns supreme.

Word of mouth for this company is stellar. Along with the positive comments on their social channels, I’ve experienced their customer fandom first-hand. I first became aware of the company through a colleague in 2008 (coincidence that I bought two pairs that year? Nope.). She is a stylish woman who wore a beautiful pair of chocolate brown suede winter boots to the office. When I asked her about the boots, she raved about them and said they were her second pair from the same company: La Canadienne. When she told me they were made in Montreal, I knew I needed to get in on that action.

From La Canadienne, we learn that making high quality goods here in Canada that are custom made for our climate is a brilliant idea. There is customer demand for these Canadian made products and for the personalized service their company offers. And there’s free shipping!

This past fall, I purchased new, black winter boots made by another Canadian company, Pajar, for about half the price of the La Canadienne boots. I can say that I am less than half as satisfied. The boots are fashionable, but not quite as classic as La Canadienne. The workmanship also fails to measure up, and I contacted Pajar when, just a few weeks into wearing my new boots, one of the heels came loose. I have not received a response from them, and this was three months ago. There is a great deal to learn from La Canadienne. And I’ll bet you can guess from whom I will purchase my next pair of winter boots. 🙂

Happy winter, fellow Canadians! If we must trudge through the snow and slush, we may as well do it in style.

 

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