With the launch of its Basi Metaguard boot scheduled for this month, women’s safety wear manufacturer Sisi Safety Wear will introduce the first locally produced women’s boot with a metaguard.
“Metaguard boots for women are not yet widely available on the South African market. While their male counterparts have access to various safety wear options, there is a shortage of specialised footwear specifically produced for women working in the mining sector, with an increasing number of women entering the mining sector,” says Sisi brand manager Predahni Naidoo.
As there is a high risk of falling objects and rocks, and a great need to protect metatarsal bones when working in the mining sector, Sisi undertook the development of the Basi Metaguard boot to provide women with an offering suitable to their feet and the environment encountered, she explains.
Sisi has invested in research to truly understand the safety needs of women in industry and the Basi Metaguard boot was developed in consultation with a specialist podiatrist and the expertise of its internal development team.
The development of the boot did not present Sisi with many challenges, as it leveraged the many years’ experience accumulated in safety footwear manufacturing by Sisi holding company BBF Safety Group, adds Naidoo.
Manufactured in Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal, on average, Sisi currently pumps out 10 000 pairs of the Basi Metaguard boot a month. Production may increase if demand dictates.
“There are a number of items that make up the bill of materials used to manufacture the boot and they are all locally sourced and produced. As a local business, our aim is to support other local entities and together grow the economy,” states Naidoo.
The boot has a 2 mm to 2.2 mm full grain smooth leather upper, a standard synthetic tongue padded with 10 mm foam, a synthetic collar with 20 mm foam padding, a padded collar and tongue for enhanced comfort and support, and three pairs of metal eyelets and one pair of metal hooks. This is in addition to polypropylene metaguard protection which is attached with self-clinching rivets and a lace guide at the top to secure the metaguard.
Moreover, the Basi Metaguard boot has vamp lining made from a hi-tech needle fibre blend with excellent perspiration absorbency and is treated with an Ultra-Fresh antimicrobial to impart hygienic and anti-bacterial properties to the material, says Naidoo.
Further, the quarter lining is made from an industrial ferrabelle non-woven material, while the in-sock comprises an anti-static non-woven material and the energiser top sock is produced using a combination of polyester and wool with excellent perspiration absorbency. The top sock has also been treated with Ultra-Fresh.
The midsole is made from a low-density flexible polyurethane (PU) with a shore hardness of 0.45 to 0.50. The antistatic boot also has a shank reinforcement moulded into the midsole for additional arch support.
Dual-density PU/PU, with a heat-resistance up to 95 °C, is used in the sole of the boot, which has an SRA slip-resistance rating, meaning it has been tested on ceramic tile wetted with dilute soap solution. The outer sole is made from PU with a shore hardness of 0.60 to 0.65.
Lastly, the boot is equipped with a steel toe cap that can withstand an impact load of 200 joules.
Sisi has a network of distributors located across South Africa and exports to over 15 countries, mostly in Africa, including Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia and Botswana.
“Sisi has been offering women a locally produced safety footwear solution for many years now. Women deserve both safety and comfort in the workplace, and there is no excuse for women to still be wearing male safety footwear,” concludes Naidoo.