A red boot crafted in Lewiston by Rancourt & Co. will be part of the Ralph Lauren official Team USA ceremony uniform at the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Winter Olympics next month. Ralph Lauren photo

LEWISTON — The last winter boots bound for Team USA rolled out of Rancourt & Co. on Tuesday.

Next month, the Lewiston company will make its third appearance in Olympic opening and closing ceremonies, once again crafting the footwear for Ralph Lauren’s official Team USA ceremony uniform.

“It’s been a wonderful process to be chosen — it’s something that we’re certainly proud of and our co-workers are certainly proud of,” owner Mike Rancourt said. “Lewiston-Auburn is my community and I feel great when we can play a role on the world stage. It’s just a testament to our workforce and heritage of shoemaking in Lewiston-Auburn.”

Olympian Hilary Knight in Ralph Lauren’s Team USA open and closing ceremonies uniform for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics featuring boots made by Lewiston’s Rancourt & Co. The tops of the boots are primarily leather with a deer leather lining. Ralph Lauren photo

For the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics ceremony uniform, Rancourt & Co. created both red and white winter boots, red for women in sizes 2 to 11, and white for men in sizes 1 to 15.

Ralph Lauren, which has outfitted Team USA since 2008, first asked Rancourt & Co. to make red, white and blue leather boat shoes for athletes at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio and came back last year for hand-sewn red, white and blue sneakers for the Tokyo Summer Olympics in 2021.

Preproduction work on this year’s detailed footwear, 33 stitched parts in all, began after the company’s Olympic ceremony sneakers shipped last June.

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Production on the winter boots began in October and it’s been an intense few months, Rancourt said. “In my 40 years’ experience, this is the most demanding, technically, that we’ve ever worked on.”

The company was already known for its tailored boot, he said, but “they’re more for dressing down. The Olympic boots are performance boots, much different for us.”

The uppers are primarily leather with a deer leather lining inside. Most of the material is from the United States.

Rancourt & Co., a third generation shoemaking company, has 41 employees at its Bridge Street headquarters.

“We’re finishing our last shipment (Tuesday) — they’re doing an inspection right now — and next week we’ll start the Paralympics (boots), which is a little bit later in the month,” Rancourt said. “Our workforce, they’re so excited.”

Mike Rancourt, owner of Rancourt & Co. in Lewiston, stands last summer with a display rack of shoes handmade at the business for members of the U.S. Olympic team to wear during opening and closing ceremonies in Tokyo. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal file photo


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