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In His Shoes: Paul Webster

8-minute read

Who’s walking around in Poppy Barley shoes? Here, we spend 5 minutes with our customers to find out who they are and what they do.

Photography by Steve Dutcheshen


Paul Webster


Curling Coach - 2018 Olympic Canadian Team Leader


Calgary, AB

Poppy Barley style(s) I own:

The Vancouver Chukka in Tan

Poppy Barley Men - Vancouver Chukka - Tan - Custom men's shoes - Paul Webster. Photo by Steve Dutcheshen Photography

Paul Webster in the Vancouver Chukka. Photographed by Steve Dutcheshen

How were you first introduced to the sport of curling?

My father played recreationally for as long as I can remember and I was drawn in by the game. I started when I was ten years old and haven’t looked back.

Can you give us an overview of your journey from playing and how you transitioned into coaching?

Even as a young competitive athlete I knew I wanted to go into teaching as a profession. With curling competitions taking sometimes two work days per event I knew at some point I would have to taper my competitive career to focus on teaching. Once I began teaching in 1999 I still wanted to stay involved and got more into the coaching side of things. I was introduced to one of our National Coaches, Jim Waite, when I was 18 and began working with him at an Ontario provincial junior camp in the summers soon after that. I was very involved coaching during my five years of teaching and it got to a point where I took a year leave of absence to come out to Calgary to take my Level IV coaching at the University of Calgary. During that process I was invited to coach with our 2006 Olympic teams and the rest is history! Three Olympics and over 14 World Championships later and here I am.

That's quite a change of career paths, what pushed you to make that decision?

The decision to really jump at coaching was simply one to follow a dream. Being able to marry my ability to teach and coach with my love for the sport of curling seemed surreal, however it came to be and I had to chase it. It truly was a big risk personally however it has turned out to be the best decision I have ever made.

Did you always know you wanted to be on the coaching side instead of playing?

I wish I could sit here and say I should be on the ice instead of behind the glass, but I can recognize talent when I see it and vice versa. What drove me into the coaching side of things is my love for teaching, being able to look at a player or at team, identify how they can get better and then put it into action so they do get better. In His Shoes: Paul Webster shot by Steve Dutcheshen Photography - Vancouver Chukkka Boots

Paul Webster in the Vancouver Chukka. Photographed by Steve Dutcheshen

What does a typical “work day” look like for you?

My days are so random! When I am in Calgary I am lucky to hang my hat at our National Training Centre at The Glencoe Club in Calgary. I also look after organizing the programming and leagues for the club. It is one of the premier private sport clubs in the world and has the best curling ice for a club in the world. There are a number of practices curing a day when I am here with everyone from new junior curlers to our current Men’s World Champions. When I am away it is usually at a World Curling Tour event across Canada or some of the very cool locations for our world championships.

Do you have a specific coaching method? How has it developed over the years?

I would say simplicity. My challenge is always ensuring I can help the athlete or team understand the problem and how to fix it and I work as a catalyst to get to that point. I am most proud when we set that athlete up to a point where they don’t need me for a bit. Too many coaches, in my opinion, want to be the reason for their team’s success, I simply want to be part of the process that helps them get there.

What is been your greatest curling achievement?

In 2014 I was the Olympic Team Leader for both Canadian Men and Women and for the first time in the history of our sport one country brought home both gold medals for women and men. That truly was a dream come true.

What do you enjoy the most about the sport? Anything you dislike?

Bottom line, the people. Our sport allows you to play from when you are 5 to 95, so we get the opportunity to work with a lot of people over and over again.

What are your greatest challenges when coaching?

My greatest challenge used to be listening and not jumping the gun to ensure they knew what I knew. Now, as I have been coaching for 20 years it is so inspiring to sit back and help that athlete create a pathway to discovery and improvement.

What do you see for the future of the sport, for coaching, and for you?

Curling is growing around the world in great numbers. Our TV numbers continue to astound - do you know our average audiences usually beat NBA broadcasts? Imagine a Poppy Barley curling team on tv!!

In His Shoes: Paul Webster shot by Steve Dutcheshen Photography - Vancouver Chukkka Boots

Paul Webster in the Vancouver Chukka. Photographed by Steve Dutcheshen

Do you find you transfer your coaching background into your personal life?

I have two young daughters, 6 & 8, and really a parent is just a life coach. Watching them discover things, people, activities and sports is so inspiring and innocent. Allowing them to make mistakes and learn from it is one of my coaching philosophies and one I will try to ensure I keep as a parent.

I assume you are on the road a lot; how do you manage your time?

Bottom line, my iPhone. Thanks to Apple I am quite organized. I have to put any appointment or practice into my phone as soon as I get it, along with two alerts. It keeps me on top of everything.

If you could coach another sport in the Olympics, what would it be?

Rugby or volleyball. I coached and played both as well as playing rugby at Wilfrid Laurier University. I love the interaction during the game that we simply don’t get in curling

What are you most proud of?

My two daughters. Raising children in this world is seemingly tougher and tougher. I have two daughters that I am proud to say our polite, respectful, inquisitive, thoughtful and kind. I would like to think I had something to do with that, even a little bit and that makes me the most proud.

What do you love most about your Poppy Barley’s?

The comfort, the style and the fact they are from Canada. We need to look inside our borders to celebrate all-star Canadian manufacturers like Poppy Barley.

The Poppy Barley Team has an annual curling day and it can get quite competitive. Are there any secrets (or tips!) for a beginner curler like myself?

Practice - even a day ahead of time. And, find your draw weight. If you can put a rock into the house it is a skill most new players don’t have. Oh, and lastly, get good coaching!

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The Harley Heeled Sandal Ankle Size Guide

How To Measure:
The Harley Heeled Sandal: Take a tape measure and wrap it around your foot, right below your ankle bone as that is where the strap will sit (see product imagery and fit video for a visual demonstration). This measurement is based on the last adjustment point on the strap.

Size Strap length will accommodate an ankle measurement up to the size below
5 26 cm
5.5 26.5 cm
6 27 cm
6.5 27 cm
7 27.5 cm
7.5 27.5 cm
8 28 cm
8.5 28 cm
9 28 cm
9.5 28.5 cm
10 28.5 cm
10.5 29 cm
11 29 cm
11.5 30 cm
12 30 cm

The Esther Heeled Sandal Ankle Size Guide

How to Measure:
The Esther Heeled Sandal: take a tape measure and wrap it around your ankle, above the ankle bone, as that is where the strap will sit (see product imagery and fit video for a visual demonstration). This measurement is based on the last adjustment point on the strap.

Size Strap length will accommodate an ankle measurement up to the size below
5 23 cm
5.5 23 cm
6 23 cm
6.5 23 cm
7 24 cm
7.5 24 cm
8 24.5 cm
8.5 24.5 cm
9 24.5 cm
9.5 25 cm
10 25 cm
10.5 25.5 cm
11 26 cm
11.5 26 cm
12 26 cm

Belt Sizes

Natural Waist Measurement Typical Jean Size Belt Size for High‑rise Pant Belt Size for Mid‑rise Pant Infinite Belt Size
23-25" 23/24 26" 28" 1
25-26" 25 28" 30" 1
26-27" 26 30" 32" 1
27-28" 27 30" 32" 1
28-29" 28 32" 34" 2
29-30" 29 32" 34" 2
30-31" 30 34" 36" 2
31-32" 31 34" 36" 2
32-33" 32 36" 38" 3
33-34" 33 36" 38" 3
34-35" 34 38” 40" 3
36-37" 36 38" 40" 3
38-39" 38 40" 42" 4
40-41" 40 40" 42" 4
42-43" 42 44" 46" 4
43-44" 43 44" 46" 5
44-45" 44 46" - 5

Sizing Note: For the most accurate fit, measure around your body where you plan to wear the belt. Choose the closest belt size to that measurement.

Belt Diagram Accent Belt and Complement BeltThe Accent Belt, The Polished Belt and The Complement Belt size measurements start from the beginning of the leather to the middle hole.

Belt Diagram Infinite BeltThe Infinite Belt size measurements cover the entire length of the leather.

Belt Measuring Guide

Belt Measuring Guide

A - High-rise style:

If you plan to wear your belt around your natural waistline, wrap a measuring tape around the narrowest part of your midsection. Then, add 3” to determine your high-rise belt size.

B - Mid-rise style:

If you plan to wear your belt lower than your natural waistline, you will require a dierent size. If you have a particular pair of bottoms you intend to wear your belt with, wrap a measuring tape through the belt loops while in a relaxed position.

When wearing your belt in your preferred style, it should fasten in the middle hole. The belt will relax with wear allowing you to cinch it tighter, as needed.

If you plan to wear the belt in both the high and mid-rise styles, you have two options:

  1. Select your high-rise style and fasten it more loosely when worn in the mid-rise style.
  2. Select your mid-rise style and fasten it more tightly when worn in the high-rise style.