Foot Protection

The Origin of Safety Footwear

The idea of protective footwear is believed to have commenced with the introduction of a wooden safety boot at the beginning of the 20th century.  These articles, known as sabots were traditionally worn by peasantry in France and were made from blocks of wood that were hollowed out to allow them to protect the foot. At the time the protection was needed in agricultural applications to prevent feet being crushed by hooves or sharp objects in the fields. It is suggested that during the industrial revolution these clog-like shoes were thrown into machinery to stop it working, giving rise to the word sabotage although this claim is very questionable. 

The concept of foot protection for the industry was introduced commercially during WW2 when the steel toe cap first originated. Commencing in Germany, factory workers were protected by a steel reinforcement built into the footwear, and which was also introduced into military marching boots at a similar time. Other reinforcing materials have been utilised since then as the safety boot has developed into something more than just foot protection. Current manufacturing processes combine with market forces and trends to produce footwear that is lightweight, comfortable and stylish. Many footwear ranges now produce boots that can be worn for walking or hiking, or even casually. Today safety footwear is a necessity as society has become more litigious and there is much more awareness across the spectrum of employers and employees as to the benefits and safeguards proper footwear provides.

Elten and Lowa Safety Footwear

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To complement our own product range, Flexion Global has partnered with Elten Germany, the world’s highest quality technical safety footwear manufacturer. Producing the first leather safety shoe in 1910 Elten has always been at the forefront of design and comfort in foot protection.

Elten produces over 2 million pairs of footwear per annum in the factory in Udem, Germany and produces a range of over 100 styles. With an emphasis on protective footwear for glass and metalworking, Flexion Global has bought the Elten range to the UK, delivering a superior product at a very competitive price.

The Ergo-active range has been developed to eliminate the need for anti-fatigue matting focusing mainly in the automotive industry.