They’ve been a work boot staple for half a century. Viberg Boot might have started in Saskatchewan, but the company blossomed when it moved to Victoria in 1970.
“The move to Victoria was really about getting our safety shoes with steel toes and also logging boots,” says Viberg Boot owner Brett Viberg. “Prior to that, it was mainly industrial product, not certified products.”
Brett recently took over his family’s company, which was started by his grandfather Edwin back in 1931. Their footwear has become known around the world, with each boot handcrafted from start to finish.
“We use machinery but most of the shoes and most of the work is made by hand,” says Viberg factory manager Luis Norberto.
“It’s a family atmosphere, a good environment. It’s a good company.”
In its 50 years, Viberg has even made an impression on the fashion industry. Fifteen years ago, their boots popularity exploded in Japan, leading Brett to start a fashion line. It’s turned into the company’s biggest seller.
“Probably like 80 percent of what we make here in our factory is mainly exported for fashion type product,” says Viberg.
The stylish boots and shoes still hearken back to their work based counterparts, while serving the needs of new costumers not involved in trades.
It’s really a modern take on modern workwear,” says Viberg. “It’s the guy that works in a coffee shop or in an office or is a teacher, that’s how they wear the product day-to-day so there is a functional element to it,” adds Viberg.
It’s adapting with the times but staying true to their roots that’s made Viberg into an island success story.
“You know my dad and my grandpa, it’s essentially our product has been selling and selling itself,” says Viberg.
“We’re really fortunate to be around for 50 years in Victoria,” adds Brett.