There are tons of boot brands around the world competing for business and looking to hold the title of the best boot.
But, to be the best boot, you have to go through a rigorous review of materials used, manufacturing processes, the origin of how you came to be, and so much more.
This article does just that. We will give you a rundown of two top-selling boot brands originating in Canada but selling their products worldwide: Sorel and Pajar.
In the end, we will let you know who we think deserves the title, and we hope you will have enough information to decide whether or not you agree.
– – – –
* Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate this site earns from qualifying purchases (meaning: we may earn commissions if you buy products recommended/reviewed here, by following the links to Amazon shown here). The availability of products on this page may change at any time. Please check the materials, features, colors, and sizes on the various shops (linked on this page) before buying, because sometimes our articles may contain errors. The product images you see here are for illustration purposes.
History of Sorel
Sorel Official Website: Women’s Winter Boots
Founded in 1962 in Ontario, Canada, Sorel boots are known for their experienced and professional craftsmanship and their modern-day designs and styles. Arthur Ratz Kaufman began production on the Sorel shoe line to market his products towards hikers and outdoorsmen.
Kaufman was already educated in the industry, coming from a long line of bootmakers, who opened their first shop in 1907.
Even though Sorel boots were produced in Kitchener, Ontario, Kaufman used Quebec’s rugged winter weather as a marketing ploy to promote his brand and showcase how durable, warm, and weatherproof they were.
Unfortunately, due to unpredictably warm winters and unsuccessful business deals, the bills started mounting, and the Sorel boot brand went bankrupt.
Soon after, the Columbia Sportswear brand bought out the Sorel company in 2000. They were expanding the production of their products and incorporating new ideas and designs to reach a larger range of customers.
Columbia is still the parent company to the Sorel brand; however, the brand still keeps its name today, allowing it to maintain its original face of providing a great boot for all types of weather and rugged terrain.
Materials and Manufacturing
A pair of Sorel boots on snow
In the early years of the Sorel boot production, Kaufman was creating his boots almost entirely out of rubber to keep them weatherproof and provide traction and flexibility in any setting. It also made sense as JR Kaufman was the owner of Kaufman Rubber Company.
When the company switched hands, Columbia found ways to update the boots to make them more practical for the audience they were being marketed towards and found ways to cut costs (not quality), making each pair more affordable.
Most Sorel boots use leather uppers and thick rubber soles. These boots are top quality for all types of weather and many of them are waterproof and comfortable, with an inside liner that is removable and replaceable, which is a huge plus.
Read also: Sorel vs Kamik Boots: A Comparison
FAQs about Sorel Boots
Are you looking for more information regarding the Sorel boot brand? Here are some questions commonly asked by potential customers.
Do Sorel boots fit true to size?
Yes, according to most customers, there are no issues with the size of Sorel boots. However, they are a little snug for some customers. If this is your case or if you plan on wearing thick socks, you may want to go up 1/2 a size. The best option would be to try them on at a physical store.
Are Sorel boots durable?
Yes, due to the thick rubber bottoms, the Sorel boot will likely not lose its shape. Some customers have mentioned the upper leather can expand a little over time.
Where are Sorel boots made?
Once purchased by Columbia, the production factories are located mainly in China and Vietnam. (source)
Are Sorel boots worth the money?
Yes. In popular public opinion, these boots are of excellent quality for the price (between $100-$200). Sorel boots are made from high-performing materials and are perfect for winter weather.
Our Favorite Pairs
Sorel provides its customers with a wide array of boots for men, women, and children. They use a slew of materials, designs, and styles. But when it came down to picking our favorite pairs, we had to go with two of the most popular Sorel boots, selling all over the world.
Sorel Women’s Caribou Waterproof Boot
These Caribou waterproof boots are versatile and comfortable with a removable recycled felt inner and a Sherpa pile cuff for added warmth and style. These boots will keep your feet warm on all of your outing adventures.
Sorel Men’s Caribou Winter Boot
The men’s version of the Caribou winter boot comes in a variety of sizes and colors. These boots are strong and durable as well as versatile and functional. This pair of boots is for anyone looking for a long-lasting pair of winter boots.
History of Pajar
Pajar Official Website: Men’s Footwear
Pajar Canada is yet another popular clothing and footwear brand that has its roots planted in Canada. The company is stationed in Montreal, Quebec, was founded in 1963 and has been through five generations of a professional shoe-making family.
The Pajar brand is all about a unique blend of high-end fashion, with durable, sustainable technology to create a functioning boot that looks fantastic.
The family is dedicated to sticking with traditional Canadian craftsmanship while still allowing modern-day design and production to help create a more marketable and beneficial boot.
Thanks to their years of expertise in handcrafting boots, the company has the right to pride itself on the quality and detail stitched into every product.
The Pajar boot is not your average winter weather boot. They are sleek and stunning, with beautiful colors and designs made with urban and chic attributes.
Materials and Manufacturing
Like the Sorel brand, you will find the majority of Pajar boots have waterproof materials. You will find the uppers of these boots made from items such as premium waxy nubuck, velvet suede, top-quality full-grain leather, and the best ballistic nylon.
This company also incorporates its own Pajar-Tex waterproof membrane booties and uses entirely seam-sealed leather to keep water out in its Pajar Sport collection. The textile uppers are not only comfortable but are rated to withstand up to -22°F (-30°C).
You might also like: Pajar vs Canada Goose: Which Brand is Better?
FAQs about Pajar Boots
Do you still have questions related to the Pajar boot brand? Here are a few commonly asked questions regarding their products, along with the answers we have found for you.
Do Pajar boots fit true to size?
Yes, these boots are right on track, and you should order your standard shoe size. However, some customers have stated the fitting around your calf could be a little snug. As always, try them on at a physical store if possible.
Are Pajar boots durable?
Pajar boots are durable depending on what they go through; if they are subjected to harsh winters and lots of wear, you may have to replace them sooner.
Where are Pajar boots made?
Although some Pajar boots are still being crafted in their original home of Canada, they also have manufacturing plants in Asia and Europe (Italy and Portugal).
Are Pajar boots worth the money?
Pajar is a top-quality brand of shoes and makes beautiful boots that are fashionable. If you are looking for a stylish boot, Pajar boots are perfect. They have luxury-level prices that can reach over $500 for some shoes, but for that quality, we think the majority of Pajar boots are worth it.
Our Favorite Pairs
Pajar carries a vast array of fashionable, stylish, high-quality boots that come in so many different colors and designs. For this paragraph, we also looked through other customers’ comments and opinions and chose two boots that had great feedback.
Pajar Men’s Trooper 2.0 Boot
The Trooper boots are sleek and stylish with a versatile design. They are made from oiled nubuck, oiled suede, and ballistic nylon, and the seam-sealed upper along with the Pajar-Tex membrane will keep your feet warm in the coldest temperatures.
Pajar Women’s Veronica Winter Boots
These Veronica boots are made with seam-sealed nylon and leather, complete with fleece lining, memory foam insole, snow-grip sole, and Pajar-Tex membrane. These boots will provide you with comfort everywhere you go, with your feet staying warm while you are getting there.
3. Which Brand is Better?
We’ll divide this section into three parts to help you decide which brand to choose between Pajar and Sorel. Because the final decision will depend on what you’re looking for in your next pair of boots.
Design and Functionality
If you are looking for a boot to wear during the winter to go out on the town or walk through a park, Pajar is a great option with its massive variety of colors, designs, and styles.
But if you want to spend time on the snowy hills, sledding down mountainsides, or trekking through the wilderness in the frigid cold, you will want to have a pair of boots that can stand up to anything put in their path. And we think Sorel offers more designs for doing just that.
When it comes to style, Pajar offers more classic designs, while Sorel boots look more sporty. For example, Pajar’s Heritage Canada Collection comes with classic styles made with fine materials like Italian leather and is handcrafted in Montreal.
Sorel wins here as it provides functional, durable, and stylish boots at a more affordable price. Pajar has luxury-level prices for many products.
When it comes to brand history, while both companies started as family businesses trying to make it in the Canadian boot industry, it was Pajar that was able to make it through the highs and lows to become the great boot company they are known as today.
So, Which One to Choose?
It depends. Do you want a boot to use mainly in the city, or to hike through the wilderness? Do you have a high or low budget? What styles do you usually like? Which brand’s history inspires you the most? After answering these questions we are sure you’ll have a much clearer idea of which pair is right for you.
– – – –