Easy as 1, 2, 3..
Three trends to watch in “on the job” style.
1. MADE IN THE USA
Demand for Thorogood’s Made in USA product has been a “huge part of the brand’s business for quite some time with union tradespeople,” according to Bianca Boettcher, marketing manager for Thorogood. She notes that Thorogood is seeing enough demand for its USA-made products that the brand has invested in an additional factory (in Maine) to increase production of its domestic product while still keeping its two Wisconsin factories at full capacity.
About 80 percent of the brand’s products are made domestically, while its imported product is “designed to meet certain pricepoints, and allows us to work with factories on more technical designs and constructions,” says Boettcher.
Styles in the brand’s American Heritage line, such as its Moc Toe leather boots, not only boast USA-made cred, but also combine style with performance and safety benefits. Made to be worn on-the-clock or off, Thorogood’s American Heritage 6” Black Moc Toe Maxwear Wedge boots, made in Wisconsin, feature a removable shock-absorbing footbed, a fiberglass shank, a slip-resistant outsole and Goodyear storm welt construction.
2. COMFORT ON THE JOB
Wolverine-owned brand Hytest has designed a collection of work boots around the concept of comfort on the job, and the line has a name that reflects that aim. The Hytest FootRests collection of industrial boots are designed to deliver grip protection, enhanced breathability, support and comfort. The Mission Nano Toe 6” Zipper Boot and the Tread Nano Toe 6” Hiker feature lightweight Xergy anti-fatigue foam midsoles to absorb shock and return energy, as well as rubber outsoles that are oil-and slip-resistant for safety.
The FootRests 2.0 Tread Hiker also features abrasion resistant TecTuff material and a nano, non-metallic safety toe, while the FootRests 2.0 Mission Zipper Boot is an athletic-inspired duty boot that’s uniform-ready and features lightweight and breathable fabric with minimal seams.
Karry Johnson, VP and GM of Hytest, says the brand is dedicated to equipping workers with “the resources they need to get the job done — from the boots on their feet to the expert safety knowledge and service we deliver.”
3. LIGHTWEIGHT STYLE
Red Wing Shoe Co. has launched what it says is its lightest work collection yet, the Zero-G Lite family of “next-gen work shoes.”
Red Wing’s Zero-G Lite styles are designed for light-duty industrial jobs such as warehouse, distribution, light manufacturing, service and office-to-floor roles. Modern, casual and super lightweight, styles in the collection are meant to deliver all-day comfort for workers who are on their feet continuously — both on the job and outside of work.
“Our customers expect their workwear to have the same style and comfort as any shoe they would wear off the job site,” says Kristin Hamilton, senior product merchandising manager at Red Wing. “Red Wing designed the Zero-G Lite collection to perform like a work shoe while offering modern style and all-day comfort. This allows our customers to seamlessly transition between work, home and anything in-between.”
Zero-G Lite styles range in weight from a low 11.7 ounces to 14.2 ounces for a single shoe. Other key features include: outsoles that offer slip resistance as well as oil, gas and chemical resistance; EVA footbeds; premium full-grain leather uppers; and safety protection in select styles with low-profile aluminum safety toes.