The year is 1968.  Renowned Canadian shoemaker K.P. Yao – whose factories in the Philippines have produced shoes for only Adidas and Nike thus far – witnesses numerous injuries (slip-and-fall incidents, smashed fingers and crushed feet) in various workplaces and it occurred to him that people need to be protected on the job. He founds KPR, and for the next three decades, KPR focuses on making a mark in Asia, bringing with it the best of Canadian values – quality, confidence and consistency – to its production in the Philippines, Taiwan and China.

In the year 2002, determined to take matters into its own hands, KPR sets up a state-of-the-art testing lab, setting itself apart from all other brands and striving to develop the most suitable footwear product for any and every conceivable workplace.  This leads to the launch of Project S.A.F.E. – an overall solution to safety (and precursor to our S.A.F.E. Guarantee) – in 2005, in line with KPR’s primary objective: to satisfy the market’s demand for on-the-job protection by supplying built-to-last safety shoes and work boots.

Things start picking up quickly from here – the next few years see KPR deploying AI software that takes it to the final frontier of vertical integration and, by 2012, every part of a KPR shoe is manufactured and assembled in-house, giving KPR unprecedented speed in developing the best products with utmost control. In 2013, KPR builds a new technical center for footwear outsole material research and development – during this time, KPR patents a revolutionary PU/RBR injection soling system that guarantees each KPR product is not only the most durable, but also the most comfortable in its class.

From 2014 onwards, KPR continues to expand its operations, currently serving countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia, increasing its presence and popularity overseas. Finally, in 2019, Peter Yao brings it all back home, setting up a new factory in Toronto so that KPR can be made in Canada once again!

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