At the turn of the century, an American homesteading family emigrated from Nebraska to Saskatchewan. It was here, in 1920, that Clement F. Gerwing was born. He grew up working on the family farm, attending school, enjoying a relatively peaceful life when war broke out in Europe.
As a member of the British Commonwealth, Canada was at war with Germany, and Clem Gerwing knew it was time to serve his country. He joined the Royal Canadian Air Force, RCAF. He became a SPITFIRE pilot and flew tours of duty in Burma and Ceylon. He returned to Canada a hero in 1945, ready to start his next career.
Back in Saskatchewan, Clem married, commenced farming and started to raise a family. In 1963, he moved his wife and their six children to Calgary. In 1968 he purchased a wholesale footwear company and this is where his Western Boot career began.
For 10 years his company sold Quebec, Mexican, and American made boots. Clem did not like the quality and options available from these manufacturers and In 1978 it was decided that the worlds best boots should be made right here in Calgary – ALBERTA BOOT COMPANY was born!
- 1978 – Clem Gerwing incorporates the Alberta Boot Company in Downtown Calgary.
- 1981 – Clem’s son, Tim, joins the company as General Manager
- 1988 – Alberta Boot is named the Official Western Boot of the Calgary 1988 Winter Olympic Games
- 1988 – Calgary Chamber of Commerce awards Alberta Boot Co. the SMALL BUSINESS of the YEAR Award
- 1995 – Alberta Boot is awarded the Milner Finnerty Pinnacle Award for Small Business Excellence
- 1997 – Alberta Boot is the Official western boot of the World Police/Fire games held that year in Calgary
- 1999 – Alberta Boot becomes the official manufacturer of the famous RCMP High Brown Boot
- 2008 – Alberta Boot celebrates 30 years manufacturing western boots in Canada’s greatest city
- 2008 – Alberta Boot moves all operations from its downtown location, to #50 -50th Ave SE (2 blocks east of Macleod trail)
- 2010 – 3rd generation, Ben Gerwing comes on board full time as Assistant GM
- 2011 – Alberta Boot proudly manufactures boots for Duke and Duchess Will and Kate as part of their 2011 Royal Tour
- 2012 – Alberta Boot supplies thousands of boots for the 100th Anniversary of the Calgary Stampede
- 2013 – Alberta Boot celebrates 35 years of making the worlds greatest western boots
- 2014 – Alberta Boot sadly loses founder C.F. Gerwing at the age of 94.
- 2015 – Ben Gerwing is named President of the Alberta Boot Company and looks forward to carrying on the Alberta Boot legacy
Established in 1978
Alberta Boot was an idea that came from Clement Gerwing in the mid 1970’s. He was selling western boots from Mexico and Quebec out of his wholesale footwear store. The demand for well made western boots was high and he didn’t like the quality and products coming in. This was when he decided to start a new venture at an age many were considering retirement.
In 1978, after playing around with several boot ‘last’ shapes over a course of 2 years, Alberta Boot was ready to go.
35 years later, we still make all our boots the same way we did at the beginning, even using quite a few of the original machines to add to the allure and individuality of every pair of boots produced.
For over 35 years, Alberta Boot Company has outfitted Royalty, movie stars, entertainers, celebrities, athletes, public figures, religious leaders, and most importantly – ordinary people from all over the world who are intrigued by the mystique of the Wild West! “There is no greater compliment that we could receive,” Ben Gerwing says, “then when a customer comes into our store and lays down their hard earned money for a pair of Alberta Boots. The Fact that well known people are wearing our product is an exciting thing, but it is the support of our regular clientele and the efforts of our dedicated staff that has brought our company to where it is today.
As Alberta’s ONLY western boot-maker, Alberta Boot Company is proud of their boots and enjoys a solid reputation built on quality products and excellent customer service, but what really sets Alberta Boot apart from the competition is that they actually manufacture the boots right on the premises at their Calgary manufacturing and retail location.