We are back in 1934, in the midst of an economic crisis. In a small village of the Eastern Townships of Quebec, times were difficult. The climate was arid. People worked the land and had few resources. Louis-Philippe Royer chose to not stop fighting. Making boots was a means to survive and to provide for his family.
From his home workshop, Louis-Philippe crafted innovative and sturdy boots for those who worked in the fields. Being resourceful and entrepreneurial, he inspired everyone around him.
Soon enough, he faced the challenge of making more and more boots every day. So, Louis-Philippe decided to build a new factory himself, pouring each concrete block, one by one.
Unable to purchase expensive tools in New England, Louis-Philippe was inspired by the industrial catalogues of the time and invented his own factory equipment. Then, being unable to procure high-quality leather when Canada was at war, he learned the chemistry of leather tanning and opened his own tannery. Being a man of character with an independent spirit, he stepped up to the plate and persevered.
Amidst life’s hardships, he believed in the ability of people to roll up their sleeves and do things for themselves. “If others can do it, so can we,” he said. His values formed the foundation of what characterizes us today: innovation, ingenuity, determination and perseverance, discipline and rigor, attention to detail, and respect for work well done.
Henri Royer – Industrialization
In 1965, Louis-Philippe’s son, Henri Royer, took over the management of the company. He made several improvements to the manufacturing operation and to the product line. He developed a new type of leather that allowed the direct-vulcanization soling process. That was an important step for the company, which then specialized its activity on rubber vulcanization. It is also under Henri’s management that ROYER started to develop specialty products for different industries with high occupational safety requirements.
Yves Royer – Third generation
Pursuing the family tradition of entrepreneurship and innovation, Louis-Philippe’s grandson, Yves Royer, took over the business in 1986. Building on the quality of the company’s human resources and the expertise of all of its team, he continued to expand the business to face market globalization.
He incorporated the concept of lean manufacturing to operations, introduced the ISO 9001 quality management system, and developed the exclusive XPAN dual-density rubber technology. Facing the invasion of Asian products, Yves Royer decided to focus the company activities on highly-specialized work boots and shoes for the most extreme work environments on the planet. He was then able to export Royer’s unique expertise all around the world.
The mother of all boots
In 2007, to remain competitive in an industry which was becoming mainly dominated by foreign manufacturers, ROYER reassessed its business strategy. The company decided to leverage its expertise in highly specialized products to bring innovation in the general-use work boots segment. That is how ROYER designed “The Mother of All Boots” collection and established a strategic alliance to outsource the production of the new line in Asia.
“The Mother of All Boots” quickly became a hit among Canadian workers and is than renowned for its outstanding comfort and flexibility.
Although part of today’s production is made in Asia, the hybrid business strategy implemented in 2007 is what has allowed the company to maintain its Canadian operations. Today, we are proud of making genuine Canadian-made products for more than 50% of our product line, while securing over 100 jobs.
In 2013, ROYER announced a partnership with mixed martial arts world champion, Georges St-Pierre (GSP), who now acts as a spokesman for the ROYER brand. The organisation is proud to partner with a worldwide respected athlete who is renowned for his strength, discipline and perseverance.
ROYER is a true survivor of the Canadian footwear industry. Founded in 1934, the business still manufactures work boots and shoes for those who work in the most extreme conditions.
The partnership with GSP was completely natural for ROYER, which shares the athlete’s values of discipline, determination, and respect for work well done.
First major contract with the Canadian Armed Forces
In 2015, following a rigorous testing process, ROYER was proud to introduce the ROYER AGILITY land operation boot made specially for the Canadian Armed Forces. This product, entirely made in Canada, is the result of 80 years of innovation and expertise. Specifically designed to perform in a large array of environments, the AGILITY boot is lightweight and provides optimal breathability.