Once a year, when the snow starts to fall, it is time to put snow tires on our vehicles in Alberta. It is also our time to visit Ben Gerwing at Alberta Boot Company to get our boots serviced and repaired from the year's wear and tear.
As Alberta’s only western boot-maker, Alberta Boot Company enjoys a solid reputation for the built and quality of its products. Boots are still hand-made, which means it is durable and wearable. It also means that when something goes wrong or when it is worn-out it is fixable. Ben and his team go as far as completely refurbishing your loved boots. It saves money. Most of all, it saves one the pain and discomfort of breaking in new boots.
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We've said before that when you buy a pair of these boots, you better like them a lot. You will own and wear them for a long time because they are built with old-school values of craftsmanship and quality materials. Alberta Boot owners are part of the family. Over the last forty years, Ben's family business became integral to the western tradition and character of our great Province, Alberta. Ben's grandfather started the business. He is now the custodian. He is also the next generation that is taking the boot business into the twenty-first century.
Alberta Boots is well-known for its western style boots. Not many people know that Ben also makes more contemporary styled half-boots that are ideal for the office, city, or casual wear. It is ideal for warmer climates.
These newer boots are hand-made with the same solid construction, high-quality materials and are growing in popularity. The best part is that you can wear these boots year-round because, as with the cowboy style boots, you have a range of sole choices that will keep you from slipping, even in winter.
We checked in with Ben to learn more about the way boots are refurbished and he showed us some of his newer styles. We were on our way to New Zealand and was planning to buy a pair of Blundstones, or Blunnies as they are known Downunder (they are cheaper in New Zealand). When we saw what Ben was making, we decided that yet again, the Alberta Boot is a better choice.
It is better because it is a great boot that you can wear until they die. Then, Ben will resuscitate and refurbish them for you and you can do it all over again. I have a pair that's been refurbished twice already and if I look after them, they will probably go another two rounds.
Once you buy a pair of boots from Ben and his team, you join a family of boot owners. You are walking in Alberta's hand-crafted history. We have our new style half boots booked and will pick them up for Christmas.
Hendrik van Wyk
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