Tag Archive for: Leather safety boots

Profit Boot

India The Leather Manufacturing Capital of the World

Leather has been an integral part of human culture for centuries, serving as a versatile and durable material for various products. In recent decades, India has emerged as a global leader in leather manufacturing, capturing a significant share of the market. This extensive blog delves into the historical context, geographical advantages, traditional craftsmanship, government policies, and contemporary developments that have positioned India as the leather manufacturing capital of the world.

Ancient Leather Roots: India’s association with leather production traces back to ancient times, evident in artifacts discovered from Indus Valley Civilizations. The presence of skilled artisans and the availability of high-quality raw materials laid the foundation for a thriving leather industry.

Colonial Era: The British colonial rule introduced modern techniques and machinery to India’s leather industry, providing further impetus for growth and expansion. This period saw the establishment of tanneries and leather-based cottage industries in various regions.

Abundance of Raw Materials for Leather: India possesses an abundance of raw materials essential for leather manufacturing, including high-quality hides and skins sourced from livestock such as cattle, buffalo, sheep, and goats. The diverse climatic conditions across the country nurture a variety of animal species, ensuring a consistent supply of raw materials.

Strategic Location: India’s strategic geographical location serves as a significant advantage in the global leather trade. Located in close proximity to major leather-consuming regions such as Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, India enjoys cost-efficient access to export markets, reducing transportation costs and lead times.

Legacy of Leather Craftsmanship: India boasts a rich heritage of traditional craftsmanship in leather production. Artisanal skills passed down through generations have ensured the preservation of intricate techniques, such as vegetable tanning, hand-stitching, and hand-tooling, adding uniqueness and value to Indian leather products.

Ethical and Eco-Friendly Practices: India’s emphasis on sustainable and ethical practices in leather manufacturing has garnered global recognition. The utilization of natural dyes, non-toxic tanning methods, and adherence to stringent environmental regulations contributes to the overall appeal and acceptance of Indian leather in the international market.

Supportive Policy Framework: The Indian government has implemented policies and initiatives aimed at promoting and strengthening the leather industry. Financial incentives, tax benefits, infrastructure development, and skill enhancement programs have encouraged investment, technological upgradation, and export-oriented growth.

Leather Export Promotion Council: The establishment of the Leather Export Promotion Council (LEPC) provides assistance and support to Indian leather manufacturers by facilitating international marketing, participating in trade fairs and exhibitions, and conducting market research. Such concerted efforts have positioned India as a reliable and preferred source for leather products worldwide.

Technological Advancements in Leather Industry: India’s leather industry has embraced technological advancements to improve production efficiency, quality control, and design capabilities. Automated cutting machines, advanced tanning processes, and CAD/CAM software have revolutionized leather manufacturing, enabling Indian manufacturers to compete globally.

Increasing Market Share: India’s commitment to quality and competitive pricing has enabled it to capture a significant share of the global leather market. Indian leather products, including footwear, garments, accessories, and upholstery, are in high demand due to their exceptional craftsmanship, aesthetic appeal, and value for money.

India’s ascent as the leather manufacturing capital of the world is rooted in a combination of factors, including historical legacy, geographical advantages, skilled craftsmanship, supportive government policies, and technological advancements. Enabled by a rich heritage of traditional techniques and a commitment to sustainability and ethical practices, Indian leather manufacturers have gained global recognition for their quality products. As India continues to invest in research and development, infrastructure, and international collaborations, its position as a leading player in the global leather trade is set to strengthen further, solidifying its status as the preferred destination for leather manufacturing.

For a chat about your work forces safety footwear requirements please give us a call on +27 11 892 8030 / 8031 / 8032 or drop an email to organise a call info@profitfootwear.co.za.

Footwear Through the Ages

Footwear Through the Ages: Tracing the Origins and Evolution of Footwear

Footwear has been an integral part of human history, protecting our feet from the elements and providing comfort and support. However, the journey of footwear began long before the advent of civilization. Join me as we embark on an extensive exploration of the origins and evolution of footwear, unravelling the fascinating story that spans thousands of years and countless civilizations.

Prehistoric Beginnings (100,000 BCE – 10,000 BCE):
Protective Foot Coverings: The earliest evidence of foot coverings can be traced back to prehistoric times when early humans sought protection from rough terrains. These crude foot coverings were likely made from natural materials such as animal hides, leaves, or plant fibres.

Early Footwear Innovations: As humans transitioned from a nomadic lifestyle to settled communities, the need for more practical and durable footwear arose. Archaeological discoveries reveal the emergence of simple sandals, crafted by tying materials around the foot using plant fibres or animal tendon.

Ancient Civilizations (10,000 BCE – 500 CE):
Footwear in Ancient Egypt: Ancient Egyptians elevated footwear to a new level of sophistication, connecting it to social status and religious symbolism. The iconic Egyptian sandals, made from woven papyrus or palm leaves, epitomized comfort and craftsmanship.

Footwear in Mesopotamia: Mesopotamian footwear evolved from the use of animal skins to more advanced designs. Sandals made from leather and attached with straps or laces became prevalent, reflecting the development of societal divisions.

Roman Influence: The Roman Empire significantly impacted footwear fashion and design. Romans developed various footwear styles, such as the caligae (military sandals) and the intricately crafted sandals known as the carbatina and baxa. Footwear became a symbol of social status and cultural identity.

Medieval to Renaissance Period (500 – 1500):
Shift towards Enclosed Shoes: With the decline of the Roman Empire, footwear focused on practicality and protection rather than luxury. Enclosed leather shoes, often fastened with laces or bands, became popular throughout Europe.

The Rise of Cobblers and Guilds: Cobblers emerged as skilled shoemakers during the medieval period, forming guilds to regulate standards and ensure quality craftsmanship. This led to the specialization of footwear production and the development of distinct regional styles.

Modern Era (1500 – Present):
Technological Advancements: The technological advancements of the Industrial Revolution transformed the footwear industry. Mass production techniques, such as the invention of the sewing machine, made shoes more accessible and affordable.

Fashion and Functionality: The 20th century witnessed the rise of fashion-forward footwear, with designers like Salvatore Ferragamo and Christian Louboutin leading the way. Athletic footwear, safety footwear, sneakers, and high heels became fashionable accessories, merging style with form and functionality.

Contemporary Footwear: In recent years, the shoe industry has responded to social and environmental concerns. Sustainable and eco-friendly materials, such as organic cotton and recycled plastic, are gaining popularity, as consumers strive for more environmentally conscious choices.

Future of Footwear:
Technological Advancements: Footwear is undergoing a technological revolution. Concepts such as smart shoes, incorporating sensors and fitness tracking capabilities, are becoming more prevalent. 3D printing and advanced materials are shaping the way footwear will be designed and manufactured in the future.

Fashion and Innovation: With the ever-changing world of fashion, the future of footwear holds endless possibilities. Innovative designs, bold colors, and futuristic materials are likely to dominate the fashion landscape, blurring the line between art and practicality.

The journey of footwear has been intertwined with human history, evolving from simple foot coverings to fashion statements and cultural symbols. Through the millennia, shoes have mirrored the advancements of civilization, reflecting societal, cultural, and technological changes. Understanding the origins and evolution of footwear allows us to appreciate the craftsmanship, innovation, and cultural significance behind the shoes we wear today, while also foreshadowing the exciting future that lies ahead in the world of footwear.

For a chat about your work forces safety footwear requirements please give us a call on +27 11 892 8030 / 8031 / 8032 or drop an email to organise a call info@profitfootwear.co.za.

Safety Boots

What to Look for as a customer in a High Quality Pair of Leather Safety Boots

What to Look for as a customer in a High Quality Pair of Leather Safety Boots

Leather boots have stood the test of time as a versatile and stylish footwear choice for both men and women. However, not all leather boots are created equal. To ensure durability, comfort, and timeless appeal, it is crucial to know what distinguishes a high-quality pair of leather boots from the rest. In this article, we will explore the various factors that contribute to the excellence of leather boots, including leather quality, craftsmanship, construction techniques, fitting considerations, and most importantly maintenance.

Leather Quality

1. Full Grain Leather is the gold standard of leather quality. It maintains the natural grain pattern from the animal, offering superior durability and excellent strength. More so, it shows character as it ages, creating a unique patina (the intrinsic way leather ages).

2. Top Grain Leather is the second-best option after full-grain leather. It will have less natural markings compared to full-grain, but still maintains a top end strength. It is often used for price point as a compromise between durability and appearance.

3. Corrected Grain Leather is the lower quality leather with many imperfections. The surface is sanded down and plate embossed with colour to achieve a uniform look. It therefore lacks the same longevity and individuality as full or top-grain leather. But serves its purpose well as all leather has value.

Craftsmanship and Construction Techniques

1. Leather Safety Boots are both handmade and machine made. The handmade part of the boots exhibits meticulous attention to detail and craftsmanship. Countless hours and incredible skills go into creating the leather upper. The machine-made part of the boot is only the sole upon which you stand. It is an injected polyurethane and/or rubber. Being a stainless-steel mould, it is mass-produced to ensure consistency in sole pattern, sole design and sizing.

2. Welted Construction known as Goodyear welt construction (a strip of leather, rubber or plastic which runs along the outer perimeter of a shoe outsole) provides an excellent durability and easy sole replacement. Blake stitch construction offers super sleek aesthetics and flexibility but may sacrifice overall durability. This type of construction is not found in Safety Footwear, but rather dress shoes and smart evening wear.

3. Stitchdown. If you are a South African, all that needs to be said is “Veldskoen”. A non-steel toe “field shoe” (farm shoe) which whilst has always been a popular South African original since the 17th century, has over the last decade exploded back into popularity with tens of thousands of pairs being sold under a variety of brands, with different colour soles and has captured the smart casual market. The highly unique stitch exposed along the outer perimeter of the sole, where the outward turned leather edge is bound directly to the sole. 100% leather and amazing comfort.

4. Stitching and Seams: Double or even triple stitching ensures better bonding, strength and longevity. As a client, always pay attention to tight, straight stitches running neatly next to each other without loose ends or fraying.

Fitting Considerations

1. Last and Foot Shape must be determined – meaning the shape and curve of your feet to find the right last. Different brands have different lasts, and different lasts means different fits and therefore variance in comfort. Especially when using footwear with a steel toe cap at the front.

2. Arch Support. Adequate arch support improves comfort and reduces fatigue. Always look for footwear which offers memory foam innersoles inside the shoe. This is what you will be standing on. Insufficient support can lead to discomfort and potential foot problems.

3. Toe Box [Toe Cap Area]. At the front of shoe, in front of the forefoot area, you must have sufficient room for toes to move comfortably. Obviously if you have a wide foot, you will avoid narrow, constricting toe boxes that can cause discomfort or deformities. Brands, like ProFit, offer 4 different shape toe boxes to cover the needs of petite, standard, wide and extra wide feet.

Comfort and Functionality

1. Innersoles or Footbeds can be checked inside the shoe or boot. They are removable and replaceable. A cushioned insoles provide comfort during long hours of wear. Quality innersoles offer further shock absorption, enhance stability and provide that walking on air type feeling. The ProFit “ComFit” gel memory foam innersole is one of the designs we are most proud of – and we make sure it is a standard in 99% of the shoes and boots which we produce.

2. Breathability – Always opt for boots made from breathable materials (like leather) which help to prevent excessive sweating and odours. Leather with the added benefit of sports mesh linings enhances airflow.

3. Outsole. Depending on your work environment needs, Rubber or PU outsoles provide traction and durability. Always consider the boots’ intended purpose and the type of terrain you will encounter to make an informed decision.

4. Maintenance and Care. Those two words directly affect the life span of leather footwear. That is a categorical fact. Regular cleaning, removal of dirt and debris using a soft brush or damp cloth and applying a polish to the leather upper will keep the leather supple and prevent cracking and pulling loose from the outsole.

5. Polishing and Waterproofing. Polishing maintains the boots’ shine and prevents colour fading. It also keeps the leather soft and flexible. Polishing also protect the leather from rain and moisture. It is a simple and yet highly effective way of maintaining your boots for years.

In Conclusion

Choosing a high-quality pair of leather boots involves considering various factors such as leather quality, craftsmanship, construction techniques, fitting considerations, and maintenance. By carefully examining these aspects, you can make an informed purchase that guarantees durability, comfort, and timeless style. Whether for everyday wear or special occasions (DWK) , investing in a pair of leather safety boots that meet these criteria will undoubtedly prove to be a wise and comfortable decision.

For a chat about your work forces safety footwear requirements please give us a call on +27 11 892 8030 / 8031 / 8032 or drop an email to organise a call info@profitfootwear.co.za.

Leather a quick understanding : From Start (in the field) to Finish (out of the shoe box)

Why is leather used for safety boots?

Leather is a durable and flexible material that is made from the hides or skins of animals such as buffalo, cows, goats, sheep, and pigs. It is often used in the fashion industry to make shoes, bags, belts, jackets, and other accessories. Leather is valued for its toughness, resistance to wear and tear, and aesthetic appeal. With proper care, leather products can last for many years and even improve in appearance with age. It is one of the oldest raw materials known to mankind.

How do you get from an animal hide to a skin?

The process of turning animal hides into footwear involves several steps, including cleaning, tanning, and finishing.

What’s the first process in getting the leather?

The initial process of removing an animal hide to make leather involves several steps. First, the animal is slaughtered and the hide is removed. The hide is then soaked in water to remove any blood, debris or dirt. It is then treated with a chemical solution to remove any remaining flesh and hair. Next, the hide is stretched and dried to prepare it for tanning.

Tanning is the process of treating the hide with chemicals to prevent decay and preserve the leather. Once tanned, the leather can be dyed, cut, and shaped to create various products.

What happens after tanning of the leather?

After tanning, the hides are treated with finishing agents to make them soft and pliable, and then they are cut and sewn into the shape of shoes. Finally, the shoes are finished with details like laces, buckles, and soles before being boxed up and shipped off to our stores.

Why is buffalo leather better than cow leather in safety footwear?

Buffalo leather is stronger than cow leather because buffalo hide has a unique fiber structure that makes the leather more dense and durable. Additionally, buffalo leather tends to have fewer natural defects than cow leather, giving it an overall higher quality. This is why we use it is the main component in our high quality safety boots and safety shoes.

Is foot safety being taking more seriously?

Absolutely! Safety is being taking more seriously across the planet. And so it should be! According to a report by Grand View Research, the global safety footwear market was valued at USD 5.7 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach USD 8.2 billion by 2025! This indicates a steady and growing demand for safety footwear worldwide.

Leather : The Various “Grades” and What You NEED to Know!

What Is Genuine Leather?

(What Animal Hides or Skins Are Used?)

Make no mistake (and it’s an eye-opening fact for many to sometimes hear) if you are walking in a pair of genuine leather shoes… those leather uppers once walked around themselves. Leather is an animal skin (or hide), predominantly bovine – from a cow or buffalo in the sense of safety footwear. It is a NATURAL material. The largest suppliers globally of safety footwear leathers are India and China. But they are also available from Brazil. The greatest “Leather City” is found in India (known as the leather capital), which has been producing since the early 19th century where British forces made their base. With the cow being a sacred animal in India, buffalo hides make up the majority of the skins available for purchase and converting. Cow is however available in certain states.

Why Do We Use Leather?

Leather is used because it can be cut and shaped with ease. It is strong, light, very supple but most importantly – it breathes! Despite massive leaps and developments is synthetic materials – predominantly for sports shoes, leather remains very popular due to durability and comfort when wearing for long hours.

Are There Different Grades Of Leather?

An animal hide is very thick, and can be broken down into layers (often colloquially called; grades). A cross section of an animal hide will show you the outer layer which was covered by hair – all the way to the inner flesh layer closest to the inside organs. Between that lies the full grain / top grain and split. All are classified as genuine leather.

What Is Bonded Leather?

But what part of the genuine leather are you getting? And that’s what you need to know. After the split, you end up with bonded leather. Bonded leather is comprised of very little genuine leather; more flakes of leather held together with a form of polyurethane of latex for bond (and can comprise of as little as 10% leather flakes).

Which Is The Best Type Of Leather?

Now obviously the part that held the skin and hair is exceptionally strong – the epidermis layer. This would comprise of the full grain / top grain. This layer has been exposed to everything from the elements (wind, hail and rain) to fly bites, bee stings and barbed wire fencing cuts. It’s the animals protective layer looking after the insides.

What Is Full Grain Leather? and What Is Split Leather?

In order to have leathers one can work with – cut and shape – you need to reduce the thickness of the leather once it’s off the animal. Once removed it will swell to around 4mm/6mm in substance. And this is why it needs to be split into the various layers (grades). When one splits the leather – try picture peeling bark off a tree. The splitting process then feeds the thick leather between two heavy and giant metal rollers which are turning and pulling the skin inwards – which have settings to move the rollers closer together or further apart (depending on thickness required). On entering the rollers at rapid speed, the leather skin is met on the other side by a super sharp blade running the length of the rollers – which divides (or splits) the leather skin into separate layers. Ah! The puzzle pieces are falling into place now. The picture is becoming clearer. The top layer is the full grain. What’s left underneath forms the start of the split. Some skins can be split again. This is often where the split is thinned and the fibres and flakes are removed. Those final pieces are compacted and joined with latex to create bonded leather. This is really the closest one gets to a synthetic material whilst still using the word “leather”.

When Should I Use Spilt Leather?

Splits are still incredibly useful and valuable – and are often corrected, to create a finished surface which still looks similar to a top grain quality leather. These are used predominantly on Econo type styles. Others used in areas on the shoe and boot which will be under less strain or impact, as a more natural suede (tongue, trim or panel).

How Thick Is Safety Footwear Leather?

Leathers can range anywhere from 0.8mm upwards. But for safety footwear uppers we need something more robust and hard wearing. Leathers need to range from entry level 1.6mm/1.8mm up to 2.0/2.2mm for the very top end footwear. Thinner leathers can be used for the comfort collar lining and tongue.

Why Are Different Types Of Leather So Expensive?

And this is where the price variations come into play between econo styles and heavy duty styles. The best hides are reserved for the best styles. As you create a boot with features to withstand harsher work environments, you use stronger (more resistant) leathers. And the Full Grain / Top Grain is the highest quality leather available.

Through the tanning and finishing process, which takes the actual skin on a journey of treatment and colouring we end up with the workable product which is then cut into panels and stitched together to create the wonderful uppers you see on your shoes and boots. The less panels, the more expensive the boots. The more natural looking and feeling of the upper – the higher the grade of the leather. The softer and more flexible, the better the quality. And watch out for those “plumping up” their thin 1.2/1.4mm leather uppers with synthetic EVA type materials. Often easily seen if you look at the raw edges of the stitched panels. Make sure you are getting what you paid for! Breathability is the most important for comfort!

How Do I know If It Is Genuine Leather?

AND… Always look for the LEATHER LOGO, which is an image of an animal skin laying flat on the ground depicting the full hide spread out. No head, no legs, belly and no tail.

Genuine Leather

The Genuine Leather logo to look out for on safety shoes


Leather Facts

  • Annually, 1 billion animal skins are utilised for leather product manufacture – resulting from global meat product. 300 million cattle (buffalo and cows), 540 million sheep and 440 million goat.
  • Leather is a natural product.
  • Full Grain/Top Grain leather is the most superior of the skin. More durable, longer lasting.
  • Leather is used because it can be cut and shaped with ease. It is strong, light, very supple but most importantly – it breathes! Unlike synthetic/plastic material.
  • The leather LOGO is important to look for on safety footwear to ensure you are getting a 100% genuine leather product.
  • Bonded Leather, Action Leather and Pleather is predominantly leather fibres mixed with a latex to plump it up.