Footwear design improves worker safety

Product innovation has improved the safety of workers, particularly now products are designed to be more comfortable, easier to fit and more job specific.

At Blundstone there is an increasing focus on, and investment in the design phase – engaging end users and wearers, and business representatives for Work Health and Safety (WHS) and contract perspectives.

This provides a much more detailed understanding beyond just standards into the actual environment and duty requirements of different professions and end users, as well as understanding the features that really matter to workers.

New products are trialled with wearers in real life situations before being released for production.

This testing ensures their safety boots are ‘fit for purpose’ and allows direct observation of their use. Products designed with end user input are more readily adopted in practice.

New product designs

Blundstone has recently released a new women’s safety series featuring a composite toe cap styles #884, #885 and #886 jogger products and #892 and #897 steel toe cap work boots.

A natural fit for hard work, these styles have been designed and created specifically for women and they are packed with features to withstand the toughest of environments.

These products had extensive user research before being released into the market, as well as technical improvements that were adjusted from wear tests – it is a priority to focus on the wearer right from the start.

The market has been quick to embrace these specialised products that cater for women’s specific needs around fit and comfort.

Blundstone believes this is because they steered away from simply ‘shrinking and pinking’ their men’s boots, and instead created a bespoke range aiming at all industries where women require superior performance.

These products are suitable for women working in light manufacturing, right up to heavy industrial roles.

The #242 is another new product released this year – designed for the construction, tradies and transport markets this boot is packed with safety and comfort features; water-resistant leather, lightweight TPU sole, breathable comfort lining and a convenient zip side.

PPE industry trends and innovation

Blundstone believes the trends are leaning towards lighter weight products, breathable materials with enhanced comfort and durability.

The company is always working with supply partners on future products that will deliver this and more – and in different industry contexts.

With current new product development projects, Blundstone is undertaking extensive research and studies to identify new processes to deliver light weight and stylish products, while addressing real work health and safety risks.

The market is getting more competitive, and reliability and quality are more than ever the keys to success.

Safety boots are more than just toe protection: they are a tool for working and must reduce trips, falls and fatigue – ultimately this leads to greater working efficiency

Uniquely Blundstone

Blundstone stands alone in being able to say it has been at this game for nearly 150 years – so they know a thing or two about making high quality, durable and innovative footwear.

The company has a dynamic pool of footwear design, manufacturing knowledge, experience and talent within its head office in Hobart, Tasmania.

Blundstone’s commitment to quality has never wavered. It’s been a central tenet through its growth from a small business to a global brand.

The company is committed to producing and delivering quality products, services and experiences.

Blundstone is also one of the only Australian work and safety brands that is successful and fast growing in both work and safety and lifestyle channels in markets around the world.

How competitive is the current market?

The current PPE and footwear safety market is very competitive as the diversity of PPE and work and safety footwear is expanding fast.

There are new competitors from non-work industries and there are competitors from overseas markets.

This means that the consumer is also faced with a huge range of price points, and standards conformity without necessarily knowing what is right for them.

We are also in a new era where aesthetics and fashion do matter to wearers of safety footwear as much as when they are wearing fashion or lifestyle product – the challenge is not just functional performance but design aesthetic.

This is also why Blundstone is continually expanding our design efforts and taking learnings from its very significant global lifestyle or fashion brand presence.

It becomes ever more important to know what you stand for and what your brand and product mission is.

At Blundstone, it is here to deliver honest, high quality product that is designed specifically to be the best fit for purpose.