KwaZulu-Natal-based manufacturer Jim Green Footwear plans to increase its production capacity in line with the establishment of a distribution network in the US, where it has received much praise, says executive director Gareth Crouch.
“So far, the feedback and demand has been great. There have been numerous YouTube reviews of the Razorback boot, which has increased demand overseas and through our online channels.”
One reviewer even goes as far as to say that the Jim Green Razorback boot is the “best thing from South Africa since [electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla CEO] Elon Musk”.
“We are looking forward to growing that side of the world and welcoming more Jim Green fans," adds Crouch.
He says the US represents the greatest demand for the Razorback boot as the footwear is found to be great value for money that stands up to boots that are two or three times the price.
The heavy-duty, handmade Razorback boot has stood the test of time with customers reporting to have pairs that are 25 years and older today, highlights Crouch.
“The boot is very versatile and can be found on mountain tops, on safari and is even used as an everyday work boot, and is a staple of farmers, hikers and general workers.”
Inspired by Africa, the boot is designed to tackle harsh terrain daily. It was originally manufactured using a synthetic collar lining, and today the boot is 100% leather. Its double layer leather upper, comprising 2.2 mm full grain leather lined with 1.6 mm calf leather, combined with a genuine rubber sole provide superior stability, comfort and grip.
This double layer of leather aids in the Razorback boot’s water-resistant properties.
The boot also offers ankle padding for support, comfort and protection, a thermoplastic toe puff and a heel stiffener for extra support, a steel shank between the insole board and sole for support and stability and an insole board secured to the upper with a double stitched 2.2 mm braided nylon cord.
It is the combination of these components and fit that result in a boot that is designed to take on the harshest conditions. The Razorback can also be resoled because of the use of stitchdown construction.
“The boot has been in our range from the start, when Jim Green Footwear was born in a back-yard garage in 1992 to meet the need for a durable but comfortable boot for long workdays,” explains Crouch, adding that the company’s boots have been made the same way since day one.
He highlights that shoemaking in South Africa is not easy in general and developing any style that offers a great fit and performs as advertised is the challenge.
It is not just that the Razorback stands out from other heavy-duty boots on the market, - as Jim Green is made in South Africa, all customers receive aftersales service directly from the factory, notes Crouch.
Manufactured using 100% locally sourced components, the boot is made at Jim Green’s stitchdown factory in Pietermaritzburg.
“Our leather is sourced from a tannery in Petermaritzburg and our soles and other components are sourced from around KZN,” states Crouch.
The factory has been manufacturing shoes locally for 33 years and 48 people are involved in the company’s manufacturing process.
With an ever-climbing unemployment rate, especially owing to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Jim Green believes it is important to support local people and the economy.