Basic safety boot and shoe care guidelines

  • Always polish your boots regularly, with a commercial available footwear product (like Kiwi or Nugget), including on the day of purchase – before first wear. Do not use synthetic squeegee type bottles with a sponge end.
  • Clean your shoes regularly (use the spun bonded cloth inside the box) to remove excess dirt and grime on the upper.
  • Remove excess mud, dust or dirt with a brush from the sole.
  • Remove any upper marks using a damp cloth or light soapy solution if necessary.
  • Never force dry the footwear (near a fire, heater or with a hair dryer) if it becomes wet, as a direct heat source may distort the upper and cause the leather to crack. (Crumple newspaper into balls and jam them into the shoe/boot to absorb water overnight)
  • Never leave the bio-degradable PU soles in an unventilated or dark environment for long periods (over 24 months) in order to avoid hydrolysis.
  • Always undo the laces of the boot before removing. Do not try and turn it into a slip on. Constant standing on, and pressure applied to the back of the boot may cause the upper to loosen from the sole.
  • Allow the boot to dry “internally” overnight – open the tongue as far forward as possible and remove the top-sock/insole. [Your feet sweat 200ml per day].
  • Never throw “foot powder” into the boot. Foot powder is for feet!

Powder inside the boot can become a paste (when mixed with sweat) and will trap air flow, reducing the breathability of the leather – thereby increasing the temperature inside the boot.

  • Try to avoid; (1) deliberately scuffing the upper leather, (2) treading on sharp edges that can cut the sole and (3) walking/working in excess water for long periods of time.

Polyurethane Injected Soles and Hydrolysis

Our soles are made of PU (Polyurethane) in order to be anti-slip, anti-static and oil/acid resistant.

Because PU has organic origins, it is biodegradable over time.

In a society where increasing attention is being focused on protecting our fragile environment, many progressive companies are insisting that, as far as possible, consumables such as safety footwear

conform to environmentally sound specifications. The process of biodegradation is slow, taking place over many years, ultimately rendering the polyurethane to a number of benign compounds.

However, to ensure the longevity of the footwear it needs to be stored in the correct conditions. If left in an unventilated area for between 12 and 24 months (or longer), the soles will go through a process called Hydrolysis in which the plasticizer (which makes the soles flexible) leaves the sole, and the soles becomes very soft, then brittle, and begin to crack and break into small pieces.

Hydrolysis is a double decomposition reaction, with water as one of the reactants. Simply put, the oxygen atom in water bonds with the carbon atom of the esters in the polyurethane. This carbon – oxygen bond is unstable, and eventually also breaks down, leading to the gradual disintegration of the polyurethane.

Hydrolysis in safety footwear only becomes a serious issue when four factors combine to create the ideal environment:

  • Water
  • Temperature
  • Darkness
  • Time

Therefore, lengthy storage (longer than two years) in a hot and humid climate is potentially the perfect catalyst for hydrolysis.

New polyurethane formulations and the addition of more sophisticated chemicals significantly retard the process of hydrolysis, but following a few simple steps can almost eliminate it entirely:

  • Rotate stock frequently on a first in, first out basis. Do not keep polyurethane soled footwear on the shelf for longer than a year.
  • Be aware of the climate in which the footwear will be worn.
  • Encourage the wearer to properly aerate the footwear after use.
  • Do not wear polyurethane soled footwear where gumboots would be more suitable.

The effects of Hydrolysis cannot be seen as a fault, but simply a characteristic of the compounds used to create the soles.

However, if warn regularly and the shoes are then in fresh air, warmth and sunlight the product will not experience this process. In fact, the shoes should then last for many years. Boots of 4 to 5 years old are quite commonly seen in good condition when maintained and polished regularly.

We have printed the warning regarding Hydrolysis on the fabric insert inside the box, to make end users aware of it.

ProFit Safety Footwear: Taking the nasty out of cheap

Published: 19th Apr 2017

Author: Nick Bryant; National Sales Manager; ProFit Safety Footwear 

Boksburg (SA) – In June 2016, after almost 7 years since it was established, ProFit Safety Footwear started making some radical changes to its business model. A completely new look, a stronger website, involvement in social media and a complete overhaul of their range offering. Out with the old – and in with the new! Moving from just a presence in the entry level sector, their offering grew into styles to suit various price brackets as well as various industries resulting in some wonderful growth.

We knew we had a very solid foundation on which to build, but we just needed to sharpen our image and implement a new approach to the market. The Giving You More marketing campaign ran between September 2016 and the end of January 2017. We launched 7 brand new styles over this period, and have number 8 arriving imminently. It was very apparent from various discussions with the industry that the safety footwear market was looking for a competitively priced, simple yet ample product range offering, with attractive styling but more than that – product that was always in stock and something a little bit more exclusive. We had a clear plan from the very beginning that less was more – and went about carefully selecting certified partners across the country who would be responsible for distributing our product. And then we decided to show them what real service was all about. It literally changed their perception of the entry level (lower end) of the market.

Once we had this handful of PPE partners we began channelling our product through them and them alone. Everyone talks about exclusivity but very few actually offer it. But, that’s exactly what we did. And we’ve stuck to our guns. Those certified partners are fed leads from our team on the road – visiting both partners and end users – as well as from calls made to us at our Johannesburg and Cape Town offices, from our webpage or off Facebook. Partners are seeing the value and we are very proud of our approach. It’s wonderful to hear distributors saying they enjoy selling our product because they don’t have to issue 6 revised quotes after haggling for unsustainable margins for 3 days. They also appreciate that we don’t go direct to end users. The only way you can get into a pair of our safety footwear is through a partner!

We are only 9 months into the new look company but we’ve made some very impressive inroads, increased our sales and already altered the opinion the market had of “cheap imports”. It’s rather unfortunate to see how this sector has been branded. Not everything out of China is cheap and nasty! That’s a terrible generalisation.

Being competitively priced at the “budget” end of the sector doesn’t automatically exclude you from excellent and efficient service. The “Giving You More” campaign proved that – with unwavering support and all the professional touches. Something many wouldn’t expect at the entry level. The quality of our marketing campaigns and marketing presentations has been very well received.

In that 9 month period, we’ve also been able to showcase the new face of ProFit Safety Footwear, both externally as we are being seen in the market with a better product offering, but also with our new systems internally and a very fired up team. Whilst all of our partners carry extensive stocks on the shelf, they are aware that their new orders with us are only 24 – 48 hours away (region dependent). We are also very impressed with our despatch and warehouse team and new transport alliance – which has enabled us a near perfect on time/in full delivery rating.

Our Four Pillars of ProFit Promise that we strive for daily as a team are; more value, more excellence, more trust and more exclusivity. Every day someone needs to have added value, been excellent, built trust and presented exclusivity. We have a small, strong team – but are a highly motivated group of individuals who give 100% every day – and that’s making all the difference.

Our goal is quite simply to grow our market share by offering something that nobody else has at this specific sector… good old-fashioned “human to human” business built on loyalty and integrity. As someone once said, “Small daily successes are the key to staggering long term results”. That’s exactly what we strive for – small daily successes.

 

The Causes of Burning Feet

  • The most common causes of the sensation of burning or aching in the foot are mechanical friction or pressure against the skin, or from compression of nerves in the foot.
  • Pressure against the sides of the foot (as in a shoe that is too tight) will compress the joints in the ball of the foot. This can either squeeze the nerves that run lengthways between the joints, causing a burning sensation within the nerves themselves, or paralyse the action of the foot muscles served by a squeezed nerve.  Tiny areas of blood circulation may be decreased. This, in turn, can cause a muscle spasm, that results in a sensation of burning within that area of the foot.
  • Wearing a safety shoe or boot that is too loose, or incorrectly laced, will allow the foot to slide inside the shoe. An extra pair of innersoles and/or two pairs of socks may be worn if shoes are too loose. Try different lacing techniques to widen the fit of the shoe on the foot.
  • Burning feet may be due to the development of peripheral nerve damage in diabetes or nerve dysfunction in hypothyroidism, or chronic alcoholism.
  • It is important to note that total foot volume increases by 7% after 4 hours of standing, so allowance must be made when fitting new boots for this natural increase in overall foot “size”. Allowance should also be made for the added thickness of socks which are essential when wearing safety footwear. Always try on new shoes in the afternoon, not in the morning!
  • Compression of peripheral nerves in the foot is seen in tarsal tunnel syndrome, as well as in diseases such as, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. Nerve entrapment of the sciatic nerve as well as malformation of arteries and veins in the spine can also cause burning feet.
  • Burning feet syndrome may be related to other disorders such as collagen vascular disorders.

 

 

Why should you polish your leather footwear?

Is it really necessary – or a marketing gimmick so you’ll spend money on an overpriced can of paste?

From medieval times (between the 5th and 15th Century), dubbin, a waxy product, was used to soften and waterproof leather. It was made from natural wax, oil, soda ash, and tallow. As leather with a high natural veneer became popular in the 18th century, a high glossy finish became important, particularly on shoes and boots. In most cases, homemade polishes were used to provide this finish, often with lanolin or beeswax as a base.

Shoes are the foundation of your outfit, and as such you subject them to more abuse than any other item in your wardrobe. You literally slap them against the ground into water, salt, dirt, grease, and grime thousands upon thousands of times. To ensure your shoes last you need to take care of them by ensuring the leather stays supple and resists water penetration.

What does Leather polish do?

Well, the simplest explanation is that leather is an animal hide (either cow or buffalo). Leather is therefore skin. And like your skin – it’s tough but still fragile relative to rough surfaces and needs protection and care.

Unlike your skin – which is alive and receives nourishment from the body (sweat and oils) – the leather on your shoes only receives the nourishment you give it. It can easily dry out, over-absorb water, or be damaged in numerous other ways.

A good leather polish is therefore designed to be readily absorbed and will nourish/restore flexibility in the fibers.

This is important as leather is prized as a clothing material because it can be both flexible and durable. If leather loses its natural oils and moisture, it loses its flexibility and its fibrous interweave will start to crack and eventually break down. Once this happens it is lost and needs to be replaced.

Should you polish your shoes before wearing them for the first time?

Absolutely yes! – You need to polish your shoes or boots before wearing them. Most footwear does not come conditioned and polished out the box. In order to keep your purchase clean, neat and tidy for when you receive them. (Imagine opening a new shoe box with polish stains inside!) So, this is your responsibility. As far as you know the leather may have sat in dry conditions for months and may be screaming for oil and moisture.

Polish thoroughly, and then you’re ready to go!

How often to polish your Leather Footwear?

When your shoes need it – which depends primarily on Environmental Conditions.

  • If you spend a lot of time out and about in arid areas like the Northern Cape (Upington, Kathu or Hotazel), you want to polish once every two weeks.
  • Working daily on construction sites in sandy, damp conditions in areas like Durban or Cape Town? Once a week.
  • Occasionally wearing your boots at a university, short term architectural project, or a once a week fast food restaurant shift? Once a month.

Use your discretion. Now that you know what is required, it’s your preference.

So, the next time you find cracking along the bridge or outer sides of your shoe or boot… remember, this was either caused from the leather drying out or water damage – which could have been prevented with polish! Try it, at very least you’ll get a shine.