Despite popular belief, Sorel boots did not first appear in Sorel, Canada. They were not made there.
These bestselling and best performing winter weather boots were first stitched on King Street in Kitchener, Ontario in 1962 by Kaufman Rubber Co., (which would later become Kaufman Footwear).
The name Sorel was given to the line to invoke feelings of success that came from the stability associated with the shipbuilding and steel manufacturing town of Sorel, Canada, despite the shoes having no tangible connection with the location.
History of Sorel Boots
Sorel’s original parent company, Kaufman Rubber Company, was better known in the early days for creating working rubber products such as rubber boots, rubber clothing, and rubber overshoes. The Sorel line was introduced later as a boot that combined a rubber bottom, a leather top, and a felt sock liner to protect feet from the nastiest of elements. The idea was to gain higher sales by marketing to consumers in the US sporting goods retailer locations.
The plan worked. Sales took off and Sorel later became the most successful shoe brand to originate from the Kaufman company line up which also included brand names like Kingtread, Black Diamond, and Fraser. The high quality materials and usability are attributed to the success of Sorel over the other brands.
The success with Kaufman Footwear didn’t last forever. Due to a string of warmer winters and some ill-fated business deals, the company declared bankruptcy in the summer of 2000. However, after being purchased by Columbia Sportswear, Sorel found a new niche as the Columbia expanded the label to include nylon outerwear and work-related garments. Sales gained momentum and the brand has found its way back to the top. Production was moved from Canada to China to save costs and increase profits. The company has since grown its market to 25 countries around the world.
Now, as a major fashion staple in cold weather areas and vacation destinations, Sorel is constantly bringing the latest styles and fresh looks in women’s boots, men’s, and even children’s footwear. They’ve also extended their selection to include warmer weather footwear in addition to their already extensive list of boots and slippers.
Features of Sorel Boots
One of the most important features to note about Sorel women’s boots and the footwear available for men and children is the highly recognizable rubber bottom attached to every pair. This vital part of Sorel’s design is what makes these boots ideal for outdoor wear. They protect toes from slushy snow, muddy puddles, and other unexpected wet conditions. The rubber bottom is 100% waterproof and the leather upper has been treated to be waterproof as well.
Because of these unique features, these are some of the only boots that effectively combine functionality with style. With other brands and styles, you usually have to sacrifice one or the other. Sorel gives consumers the opportunity to be protected from the elements while maintaining their own unique style. Another perk? These boots have been known to last for years and years. Many fans of the footwear brand have had their Sorels for ten years or more. The company fosters this by offering replacement liners to insert into boots as wearers continue to enjoy the boots winter after winter.
Sorel boots are a very popular option for men and women who work outdoors in colder conditions. The temperature ratings for these boots range from 0 degrees Celsius all the way down to -100 degrees. When planning to wear Sorel boots in extremely cold weather, it is suggested to follow some winter sock guidelines for wearing the rubber boots. Because of the waterproof rubber bottom, it can also trap perspiration from warm feet. So, to make sure that toes stay toasty and to keep that moisture from freezing within the rubber boot, wearers will need to alter their usual sock routine and maybe add a sock liner for added comfort.
Sorel isn’t just producing shoes and letting them sell themselves though. The company has been making great strides in the social media world to build a loyal fan base on platforms such as Twitter, blogs, and on Facebook, where they also offer a first look of new styles to loyal followers of the brand. There, Sorel fans can share photos of their own favorite styles, tell stories of where their boots take them, and ask questions directly to company spokespeople.
Sorel boots and shoes can be found on the feet of celebrities everywhere and even within the pages of popular magazines. The women’s boots, as well as the men’s and children’s offerings, are considered to be a must-have winter luxury item that doesn’t have to break the bank.