When your interest in rubber boots grows, and you start looking past the obvious Hunter rainboots, you will quickly find out there are a ton of different brands producing all types of rubber boots. One of those brands is Le Chameau from France. While this brand was established over 90 years ago, in 1927, it stayed below my radar for an obvious reason: the rubber boots they produce are mostly marketed as functional boots for farmers, hunters, and fishermen, as shown by an advertisement from the brand below.
The brand finds its origin with Claude Chamot who took notice of the problems workers in the French countryside experienced: wet feet and no quality boots available to keep them dry and comfortable. He established a workshop to produce the first rubber boots, completely made by hand, in 1927 and the boots quickly became loved by his customers. Not before long the boots were sold all over France.
Unlike other brands producing rainboots for decades, Le Chameau has stayed true to its origin as can be seen on their social media pages. When you take a quick look at their Instagram page you will notice the predominance of countryside pictures with forests, creeks, mud, dogs, small villages, and a lot of autumn leaves. This fits perfectly with the intended audience for their boots: farmers, hunters, fishermen, and the general country folks.
While I love how they stay loyal to their origins, it makes it very difficult to combine their rubber boots into a fashionable urban outfit. Basically all their boots are in darker colors, green, brown and black, and with a very functional look. It would be difficult to combine these rubber boots with a pair of trendy jeans, and fitted coat, and some fashionable accessories. Unless you are going for a countryside look, the range on offer has little for the average urbanite.
That is not to say you should write off the brand completely. The rubber boots of Le Chameau are generally known for their overall quality and comfort, with each boots given 2 years of warranty and being produced from start to finish by a single person. For those looking for waterproof footwear for functional use these boots are still highly recommended, although the price of the boots might make you reconsider if you will have enough opportunities to justify the purchase. Below a pair of Le Chameau boots costing 360 British pounds.
The high price of the Le Chameau boots is partly explained by the amount of manual labor required to produce one pair of boots. To limit these costs the production of rubber boots has been moved completely to Morocco in 2016 where the company can profit from lower labor costs. But does this move jeopardize the quality of the boots as it did for Hunter when they moved the production to China? The answer would be “no”, as the production of Le Chameau boots has been split between France and Morocco since 1949 already. By closing the production facilities in France the brand steps away from its “Made in France” heritage, but quality-wise a customer should notice no difference.
While many companies try to leverage their cultural heritage and water down their brand by producing a large range of products to leverage their brand name, like Hunter does with the production of a range of items, you should not expect Le Chameau to follow in these footsteps. The company has indicated the focus stays on their original clientele, with which they have established an excellent reputation. So don’t expect any brand stores coming to you anytime soon, or a complete range of clothing, bags, and party boots.