Shoes For Crews is synonymous with comfort & slip resistance: As pioneers in slip-resistant outsole technology with almost 40 years of experience, they offer a wide range of high-quality footwear combining smart, trendy styles with optimum comfort. The company’s mission is to keep the workforce safe on the job with comfortable, quality protective footwear solutions—reducing accidents and saving money. Shoes For Crews’ footwear, engineered with a unique slip-resistant outsole, is sold in over 40 countries around the world. Shoes For Crews has more than 500 employees in the USA, Europe and China, and has its own logistics centres in the USA, Canada, UK and the Netherlands. Personnel in over 150,000 companies around the world rely on the safety and protection afforded by their footwear. Interview with Katja Nefzer, Marketing Manager Europe at Shoes For Crews. Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company? Katja Nefzer: Shoes For Crews designs and manufactures one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive range of slip-resistant footwear. Our unique slip-resistant outsole exceeds industry norms whilst providing superior comfort. Slips, trips and falls are the most common causes of accidents across all industries. Injuries caused by slip accidents can have a costly and detrimental impact. Our range of stylish yet practical footwear has been designed with this in mind and our unique TripGuard technology has been created to help prevent the causes of slips, trips and falls. Our customer’s needs are at the centre of our design process and our footwear is created to be lightweight, spill protective with SpillGuard technology and Easy Clean to make day-to-day life a little bit easier. E.E: What’s the news about new products? K.N: We have recently launched many new, innovative, and sustainable safety styles which are designed to provide excellent levels of slip resistance and comfort for high-pressure industries and demanding work environments. The lining membrane is made from NatureTex® which is derived from 100% recycled plastic bottles: Carrig / Callan Our Carrig and Callan styles are mid high- and low-cut safety hiker boots, designed for the needs of those requiring high protection but yet want comfort all day long. Both styles are certified according to EN ISO 20347:2022 O6 FO HI CI SR ESD. They are waterproof, feature our TripGuard technology and benefit from an extremely slip-resistant outsole. An EVA midsole provides extra cushioning and comfort. They are also metal free, heat and cold insulated and feature a protective membrane against blood borne pathogens. Guard The Guard is available as mid or high cut safety boot. Featuring a comfortable EVA midsole, these boots will feel like wearing a pair of running shoes. It is certified according to EN ISO 20345:2011 S3 HRO WR SRC, metal-free, puncture proof and features a composite toe cap. The Guard is designed with our standard TripGuard technology and protects against blood borne pathogens. A side zipper makes it convenient to put on and take off the shoe. Defense The Defense is a breathable and waterproof style with extra cushioning. It features a slip-resistant outsole and is certified according to EN ISO 20347:2012 O2 HRO WR SRC ESD. With its leather and mesh combination the Defense provides excellent durability. It protects against blood-borne pathogens and slips, trips and falls with our TripGuard technology. E.E: What are the ranges of products? K.N: Shoes For Crews caters for a wide range of industries and requirements: with over 280 styles for men and women globally—from sporty, casual and smart to safety footwear and specialist footwear for emergency personnel/operatives and the military. Our range also includes accessories such as mats, socks and comfort insoles. E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active? K.N: Shoes For Crews is one of the market leaders in the safety footwear industry and we have had a presence in Europe for more than 20 years. Our European headquarters are located in Shannon, Ireland. We are well established in the EU and have recently increased our sales activities in the Middle East. E.E: What can you tell us about market trends? K.N: Industrial footwear is becoming much more comfortable and advances in technology have enabled us to transform classically heavy boots into much more comfortable boots – to keep employees safe and comfortable on their feet all day, regardless of in which work environment they operate. In general, the industry is becoming more aware of the importance of sustainability. At Shoes For Crews Europe sustainability is hugely important to us and we have developed a strategy to guide us towards a more sustainable future. As of 2021 we will be publishing an annual Sustainability Report to communicate our goals and to reflect upon our progress. E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed? Our feet won’t be getting any smaller – but the ecological footprint that they leave behind will. This is why have launched a totally new concept for our work and safety shoes, one which is based on the continuous further development of sustainable production and the increased use of recycled materials. Since 2022, we are able to produce linings for all our shoe models from 100% recycled PET, thereby saving significantly on resources. Additionally, we only use insoles made from recycled EVA. The recycled EVA comes mainly from discarded flipflops and waste from industrial productions. The proportion of recycled rubber for outsoles is gradually being increased. Another big step is establishing production in Europe and one of our most significant transformations has been moving the production of our dress styles to Portugal and Italy. We have also recently debuted our 4SG Outsole. Our innovative new outsole has excellent performance properties on dry and frosted ice, water, oil and mud. The 4SG outsole is exceeding the industry standards and slip resistance results of recognised competitors. It is primarily targeted at industrial teams working outdoors and protects in all seasons and weather conditions from slips, trips, and falls. E.E: What estimations do you have for 2023? K.N: The demand for slip resistance in occupational and safety footwear has drastically accelerated due to the rising number of accidents which businesses can´t afford anymore due to the scarcity of employees on the market. Nevertheless, the safety footwear industry is impacted by global supply chain issues and inflation. However, we are optimistic that growth will continue. The growth of Shoes For Crews has accelerated with our team more than doubling in the past year as we shift our focus towards new opportunities and industries.