The Sisi Cate and Nicole safety footwear that customers have come to trust for its quality, durability and comfort will now be available in a steel midsole variant, says local manufacturer Sisi Safety Wear senior brand manager Vanessa Ronald.
The company is also unveiling Yvonne – Sisi Safety Wear’s first split-leather chukka boot – as an economical solution targeted at contract workers and those on a budget.
“The new product offerings were inspired by the fact that a lot of women in industry are still wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) designed for men, as manufacturers have been slow to accommodate the specific needs of women. This has further compounded when it comes to local manufacturing solutions,” Ronald explains.
Further, despite certain environment specifications requiring a steel midsole, there is currently no female-specific safety footwear product locally manufactured that meets this specification and not many options available internationally either.
As a result, women requiring these levels of protection have had no choice but to buy ill-fitting male footwear to ensure their safety.
“This often causes discomfort, which leads to a loss of productivity and can even result in health problems affecting the knees, hips and back, in the long run,” says Ronald.
She adds that, when it comes to economical chukka boots, the market has an abundance of variations for men within a certain price point, but is lacking locally manufactured styles that cater to the contours of women’s feet.
“By replacing full grain leather with split leather, we are able to reduce the price by roughly 17% for each boot. “This will assist those in the nonheavy industry or contract workers who previously had no choice, owing to price constraints, other than to be issued with split leather male boots.
“We were also very calculating in terms of the colour and designs for this boot. “We opted for a more conservative look so that the women wearing these boots blended in with their male counterparts and were not advertising their differences through a ‘girly’ looking boot that opened the door for criticism,” she says.
Ronald notes that these product developments are testament to Sisi Safety Wear’s commitment to women’s safety needs and ongoing dedication to research and improve ment.
“There is a high influx of women in industry and we want to convert them to wearing PPE designed specifically to fit the female anatomy. “By doing so, women will enjoy better health and safety and will also be able to focus their full attention on the job at hand, increasing their productivity on site.”
In addition, Ronald explains the specifications of the Cate and Nicole safety footwear, which include full grain leather upper, dual density polyurethane (PU) or PU Sole, safety rating ‘SRC’ slip resistance, available with and without a steel midsole and EN 20345.
The Yvonne safety footwear specifications include genuine split leather upper, dual density PU or PU sole and EN 20345, she concludes.