Photo Credits: Hot Shoes - Terri-Ann Hanlon; Vulgar II - Ventileit
Shoes Canada History
Shoes Canada as an industry is deeply rooted in the skills of its indigenous people
for centuries. Inuit Boots called mukluks have been made by Native women using sealskin
for generations. These boots inherited the skills and craftsmanship of the indigenous
people of Canada's Arctic. The natives' manufacturing techniques which were used
to keep the feet warm have been perfected over many generations; so much so that
they have been copied by modern footwear manufacturers.
Moccasins made by Canadian Native women in the 18th and 19th century were often crafted
with materials supplied to the natives through missions and on reserves. They were
fashioned using native skills and developed into items for trade.
These are just some of the examples of Shoes Canada which have been part of the Canadian
landscape well before the European settlers have landed there.
Shoes Canada's Bata Shoe Museum
Bata Shoe Museum is a privately funded facility built for Sonja Bata to display her
personal collection of shoes that she spent her entire life collecting from around
the globe. Sonja is the spouse of Thomas J. Bata, the owner of Bata Limited. The
exhibit was opened on May 6, 1995 in Toronto Canada. The shoe collection is a story
telling tale of not only Shoes Canada but also cultures from around the world.
Successful Shoes Canada Import Stories
Corinne Lissoos, an immigrant from Israel to Canada in 1989 is the successful importer
of Naot shoes which have been known in Israel due to their quality, style and comfort.
Each shoe is handcrafted from environmentally friendly components.
Natural materials such as cork are used to provide shock absorption.
The shoes are priced from $150 to $300. Hence, they do not compete with cheap imports.
Nor do they compete with high end fashion shoes because they are positioned for
men and women who desire value, style and comfort.
Working from her garage and displaying shoes in only two Toronto area health food
stores, Corinne was only able to sell 100 pairs of shoes in the summer of 1989.
Over two decades years later, this import entrepreneur's line of Naot shoes are sold
in retailers across Canada including Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan,
Manitoba, the Maritimes and the Northwest Territories. There are also Naot Canada
retail stores in Montreal, Toronto and Calgary.
There are the pointed shoes from the medieval where different social classes are
allowed different lengths of toe.
Tiny Chinese silk shoes from China have been used to highlight women's tiny feet
due to physically bounding the feet to prevent them from growing. Tiny women's feet
are considered attractive in Chinese cultural where the goal is get the feet to the
ideal length of three inches. Although the feet binding practice has been performed
for over a thousand years, it was banned by the Communist government in 1949.
Clog Shoes from France made to crush chestnuts in the 19th century are displayed
in the museum's specialist footwear section.
There are also the inlaid Ottoman platforms specially designed to help keep aristocratic
feet from the dirty mud.
There is also another section made famous by celebrities from around the world. There
are loafer's worn by Buddy Holly, Stilettos adorned by Marilyn Monroe, Red Court
Shoes from Princess Diana, Humongous Reebok Trainers from Shaquille O'Neal and outrageous
platform shoes from Elton John.
The theme of this successful import entrepreneur is finding a niche and developing
a value proposition that does not compete with existing product lines in the Shoes
Canada market place. If you learn this valuable import lesson, you too can be a
successful importer for the Shoe Canada market.
Ron P. - Import from China to Canada
“I came up with the idea of importing shoes from China due to the influence of my
friend who is a shoe salesman. I am opening an on line business as well as a shoe
store. Your website is a great inspiration!”