gallery coming this friday!
About Henry's Shoes
Dating near the time Trochu was initially founded (1913), our original facility was built and owned by the Roach Municipal District Office. It stood where Henry's is located today. The Imperial Bank of Canada occupied the front part of the building. Later on, moving across the street. In the 1930s, W.S. Garrick sold the building to Emil Fiala Sr., Who moved in with his Shoe and Harness Repair Shop, changing the name to the Trochu Shoe Hospital.
Emil Sr. passed away in 1962, and the business was purchased by Henry Rist, who had learned the shoe trade in his home country, Germany. With renovations and retouches to the facility, Henry and his family opened Henry's Shoe Shop "Shoes for the Family, All Repairs." Initially focused on handcrafted shoes by Henry himself, they later incorporated footwear and clothing brands alongside a footwear repair workshop. They would soon add twenty feet to the rear of the store, with an additional sixty feet in 1968. During that time, Henry planned to open a shoe manufacturing plant in Trochu with the provincial government's support. Henry left for Europe to find the right equipment for this venture. After several weeks, he returned to ill health and suddenly passed away on April 25, 1969. His wife and son (Ruth and Vern) would continue to operate the store.
A short while later, Vern H Rist purchased the business and assumed ownership. He later closed off the repair service, creating a greater emphasis on the retail footwear industry. By 1982 they would expand to a second location in Olds, Alberta. Reaching 50 years presently, Vern still holds his important position in the business success today. Bearing little resemblance to its initial persona, Henry's now has over 200,000 registered customers from all over western Canada and North America. More than just a renowned tourist destination, we've been proudly serving customers for over 60 years. With a vast selection of products and a variety of brand names, we take pride in the delivery and service of our clients. We believe it's our duty to ensure the quality and fit of your footwear. A standard that Henry once saw 60 years ago. A vision that we will continually stand by.
Family ran for sixty years
Henry Rist (1923 - 1969)
Little did Henry know when he was crawling under the barbed wire of the Iron Curtain with his wife Ruth and two sons, Manfred and four month old Vern, the enormous SHOE-PRINT he would leave in the town of Trochu. Many strangers say, "You're from Trochu? I buy my shoes at Henry's."
Quality footwear for sixty years
April 1st of 1962 marks the grand opening of Henry's Shoe Shop. Started by Henry Rist, who had learned the shoe trade in his home country, Germany.
At 60 years Henry's has seen its fair share of struggles. Whether it be economic hardships, the loss of family, the changing trends, times, generations and even the current situation that has unfolded over the past 2 years.
With two generations of family and counting, we've been proudly serving customers for over 60 years. With a vast selection of products and a variety of brand names, with over two hundred thousand registered customers between our two stores.
For 60 years, we are one of the oldest shoe stores in Western Canada.
For 60 years, we are one of the last remaining small town shoe stores.
For 60 years, we are able to offer a unique experience that many struggle to replicate.
And for 60 years, we have persevered through thick and thin, all thanks to those who continue to call us their shoe home. And without your patronage; we would have never been here to say, Thank you for welcoming us as your Canadian family shoe store.
Thank you, for supporting us for over 60 years. We take pride in the delivery and service of our clients. A standard that Henry once saw 60 years ago. A standard that Vern continues to hold, and a standard that we will continue to hold for hopefully the next 60 years and counting.
The 1949 journey from communist East Germany by foot, by rail and by ship ended in Trochu at the Henkel relatives. After a few years in Didsbury, Henry bought the "Trochu Shoe Hospital" from Emil Fiala Sr. opening up Henry's Shoe Shop in 1962.
Henry lived in Trochu only eight years and was in the planning stage of opening a shoe manufacturing business with the idea of manufacturing work boots. With the provincial government's support, Henry left for Europe to find the right equipment for this venture. After several weeks, he returned to ill health and suddenly passed away on April 25 1969, from a heart attack. Marking 53 years since his death.
Ruth carried on until Vern took over and both Fred and third child Iris have shoe stores in Brooks and Wainwright. Vern had built the Trochu business into a destination for shoe shoppers from across Canada.
Henry would be pleased with the way his family has carried the dream.
Credits/sources: "Trochu Centennial Footprints"
Hours of Operation
All Warehouse Locations
Monday - Saturday: 10:00 am - 5:30 pm
Feb 20, 2023 - Closed
217 Main St, Trochu, AB T0M 2C0, Canada
5023 51 St, Olds, AB T4H 1E6, Canada