Arles – Lisse écorce


This plain derby, another understated mainstay in the Paraboot collection, is legendary for its resistance to wear and tear, and for maintaining its shoe form through thick and thin. Arles was a fortress town in the south of France.

The specs:

  • 5 eyelets
  • Full grain leather uppers
  • Leather lining
  • Genuine Norwegian welt

Here at John Simons we are proud to stock Paraboot, an iconic French brand with whom we have worked with since 1984, making us the oldest stockist in the UK.

Founded by Remy Richard in the Alpine French town of Izeaux in the early 20th Century, the Paraboot brand as we know it today was born from one of Richard’s earliest visits to the USA. In 1926, Richard arrived in the USA during a boom in the rubber industry and was confronted with a new style of work boot with heavy rubber soles. This style of footwear differed greatly from the refined leather-soled shoes Richard had produced previously and served as the impetus for a new style of footwear.

In 1927, Richard would found Paraboot, a brand with a distinct focus on rubber-soled footwear, appropriate for heavy labour. The brand’s name was a combination of the words “Para”, the town in Amazonia from whence the rubber came, and “Boot”, a nod to the American-style of footwear Richard had encountered on his travels.

In 1945, Paraboot produced their signature model, The Michael, a two eyelet moccasin style shoe with a robust Norwegian welt and durable rubber sole. Coincidentally, the Michael is the model which was first stocked at John Simons back in 1984. John fondly recalls ordering the Michael in a muddy bottle green, a deep Bordeaux red and dark “café” brown. When quizzed on what appealed to him about the unique model, John recalled the influence of French actor/director Jacques Tati, elaborating that it seemed like just the sort of shoe he might have paired with his signature raincoat and high-water pants. Be like Jacques and wear Paraboot.