Monday, June 8, 2009

Tailor Made: Shoes

Image by urbanmakr at
I got lucky while breezing through Zara with a friend recently, and found the last of a pair of leather sandals that had arrived and sold out that day. They were made in Spain, mostly leather and really affordable; but the sole was one very thin piece of leather that just wasn't enough padding between me and the sidewalk.

I took them to Imperial boots on Bleury, just south of Sherbrooke. It's the third shoe repair I've taken to them: they re-soled my cowboy boots (doing a far superior job than the original manufacturer, I might add) and replaced a long side zipper on a pair of riding boots from Paris.

I have been super happy with every repair and this time was no exception: he added a rubber tread to the ball of the sole and thick piece of rubber matching the leather under the heel. I walked out of the store wearing them and walked from Bleury to Guy and back with no issues.

The real beauty of Imperial Boots is their old-world customer service and quality. They actually make shoes from scratch (all those boots you see hanging in the window when you walk by? Handmade in Montreal. And they do custom work. I have heard many a testimonial to the awesomeness of custom Imperial winter boots. I swear you're gonna see me in The Winter Boots of My Dreams this year.

Imperial Boots
2117 rue de Bleury

Montréal, QC H3A 2K2
(514) 844-5611


  1. Hi,
    I found Imperial boots accidently on my way to Uqam on Sherbrooke and I absolutely fell in love with the shoes and boots and everything. Unfortunately, I never could make it during the opening hours. Do you know what are the prices, is it affordable ?

  2. Hi Ana,

    I'm not sure how much his ready-to-wear shoes are but the custom boots are about $200 - $300. Well worth the investment. Seems like a lot up front but will last a while, and if you tend to buy $100 boots every or every other winter it'll be worth it in the long run.

  3. Hello !

    I am a shoe maker from Australia in Mexico (learning more about cowboy boots) on my way to Montreal. I was hoping to find a place to work in Montreal making shoes by hand.

    Imperial Boots looks awesome! Would you recommend any other places in Montreal that make shoes by hand???


  4. Hi April! How cool - drop me a line when you are in town!

    I have been trying to track down one in particular for you - I'll report back. In the meantime, I came acros:

    Cordonnerie Jiji
    900, Rue Gilford, Montreal, QC H2J 1P2
    N° de téléphone : 514-523-7984

    (I'm not sure this one still exists...?)
    Elizabeth Shoemaker
    10, avenue Des Pins Est, Montreal, QC H2W 1N3
    N° de téléphone : 514-844-8174

  5. Found it!

    Augustino (Cobbler)
    work (514) 376-2580

    home 3284 Bélanger (corner St-Michel)

  6. thanks so much!

    Great to have some leads from someone in town in the know!

    Will let you know when I am in town, maybe I can buy you a coffee and we could talk stuff!


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  8. Imperial will work from a photo or drawing, and also will copy a beloved pair of old shoes or boots. I've had my Imperial boots for 7 years now, and can't say enough good about them. I don't wear them constantly (they are fall/spring boots, and fall and spring in Montreal are both short!), but I love them and they are still fashionable.