Features, Personal protective equipment, Work health and safety

A legacy name treading new ground

honeywell, oliver footwear

Tough work environments like mine sites demand the toughest of footwear. Fortunately for the industry, Oliver Footwear is rising to the challenge. 

Crush injuries from heavy machinery, falls from slippery and uneven surfaces, chemical exposure and extreme heat are just a few of the risks associated with working on a mine site. 

Footwear in the mining industry must therefore be able to hold up against a wide range of threats, and yet be comfortable enough for workers to endure lengthy and active shifts. 

The ideal footwear walks the line between comfort and protection.

This balance is a challenging one to manage, but Oliver Footwear has had over a century to get it right. 

Bootmakers since 1887, Oliver Footwear owes its origins to gold mining in the Victorian provincial city of Ballarat.

“It’s performance in the field and all-day comfort that sets Oliver apart from other brands,” Oliver Footwear product development manager Brett Huggins told Safe to Work.

“We’re constantly updating the design to stay at the forefront, with our Australian design team inspired by industry feedback when making their upgrades.

“This approach has helped us develop a reputation for long-lasting and comfortable work boots, and that’s where we have an edge.”

Oliver offers specific footwear solutions for the most demanding workplace environments, which typically demand exceptional performance and protective requirements. The company supports industries such as manufacturing, firefighting and emergency services, and, of course, the mining sector. 

Oliver Footwear’s All-Terrain (AT) 65 series is built for tough mining industry conditions. 

The range comprises four models that incorporate features like 100 per cent waterproof technology, a Q-Flex non-metallic penetration-protection insole, COOLstep moisture wicking lining and breathable NANOlite fatigue reducing footbeds to keep feet dry and comfortable all day.

“Aside from keeping the foot supported and protecting it from outdoor impacts, we also look at ways to keep feet dry; not just from preventing water from getting in, but also from the sweat and moisture that will naturally build up in the boot,” Huggins said.

“People are going to wear these boots all day, so we want to maintain the hygiene of the foot and, to that end, have moisture-absorbent linings and footbeds to draw the moisture away from the foot.”

The AT 65 series is the first in the Oliver Footwear range to incorporate the innovative SAFETYcell technology, which comprises a coated leather shell, toe bumper, and heel guard for all-round protection from impacts, cuts, abrasion and chemicals.

The AT 65 series is lighter and more flexible than preceding models from Oliver. By removing unnecessary bulk and making key design changes, the company has delivered a range of safety boots that flex more naturally with the movement of the wearer.

The lightweight shock-absorbent midsole of this range protects and cushions the foot, while the hard-wearing rubber outsole can resist surface temperatures of up to 300°C.

Heavy-duty Kevlar sticking across critical wear seams rounds things out for these models, providing longevity.

honeywell, oliver footwear
The AT 65-490 stands up to corrosive environments. Image: Oliver Footwear

AT 65-490

In terms of protection, the AT 65-490 features high abrasion and chemical resistance, high durability, and waterproof properties via the use of Cordura on the vamp of the boot. 

Thanks to its leather and synthetic construction, the AT 65-490 holds up well in medium-level corrosive environments. 

Pronounced bars on the heal and toe guard are ideal for heavy-duty applications.

The AT 65-490 comes in the 150mm lace-up model or the AT 65-490Z lace-up, zip-sided model. 

The AT 65-490 offers anti-static properties while the AT 65-490Z has electrical hazard protection. 

AT 65-493

The AT 65-493 is a 240mm pull-on-rigger boot. Heavy-duty full grain leather construction makes this boot ideal for use in wet and muddy environments, and for jobs with washdown requirements using caustic substances. 

This anti-static model features an internal Poron XRD metatarsal guard for increased protection against impact and crush injuries. 

“It is not only comfortable, flexible and lightweight but frees wearers of rigid, bulky, and constricting padding,” Huggins said. “On impact, the Poron XRD high-performance molecules create a unique protective shield that absorbs up to 90 per cent of the most intense force.”

honeywell, oliver footwear
The 65-493 is ideal for wet and muddy conditions. Image: Oliver Footwear

AT 65-791

The AT 65-791 is high-cut and robust, featuring an additional dual-sided ankle protector ‘Y-guard’ constructed with a rigid TPU. This ensures torsional support and impact resistance of the ankle and lower leg. 

The AT 65-791 is the highest specification model in the range, ideal for underground miners in abrasive and rocky environments. 

“Workers who wear these boots say they feel light and comfortable after long hours on the feet,” Huggins said. “They’re extremely durable, balancing great support with flexibility.” 

The AT 65-791 features flexing pads above the back heel which, in combination with its full grain leather construction, make the boot manoeuvrable and comfortable.  

The boot features a laced-in zip, which Huggins said provides extraordinary fit and functionality. 

“The zip contours flush to the boot, providing full flexibility and support, and allows a custom fit to individual leg shapes,” he said.

“And because it has a zipper, the boots can be easily donned and doffed.” 

The AT 65-791 features all of the trademark technologies of the AT 65 range, including the Poron XRD metatarsal guard. It is also anti-static and has a reflective panel above the heel to increase visibility in low-light conditions.

Marrying performance with comfort, these new additions to Oliver Footwear’s AT 65 series are powering miners through the workday. 

“As a leading provider of Australian footwear solutions, Oliver Footwear promises the most comfortable, best-performing and most durable footwear available,” Huggins said.

“Pioneering innovative comfort and sole technologies, we construct quality footwear that not only help its wearers perform their best on the job, but also provides them with superior comfort and style.” 

This feature also appears in the May-June issue of Safe to Work.

Send this to a friend