Britain has enjoyed the joint hottest summer on record in 2018, but, unfortunately, the time is fast approaching when we have to put away the flip-flops and start to think about the colder months which lie ahead.
This means making sure your footwear is fit for purpose. Will they keep you on your feet when it is icy? Are they going to keep your feet dry, warm and, most importantly, comfortable so you can focus on daily tasks without the constant distraction of aching feet?
Finnish footwear manufacturer Sievi has been making shoes and boots for nearly 70 years. Back in 1951 in a small shed in Finland, Lauri Jokinen laid the foundations for shoe manufacturing by Sievi’s skilled shoemakers and a new concept was born – Sievi comfort and quality.
The first product combined a foot piece made of rubber with a leather shaft and this became the standard boot worn by Finns up and down the country throughout the industrialisation of Finland in the 1950s. Today, with decades of experience behind them and with a continuing commitment to its core principles – comfort, quality and innovation – Sievi is the largest manufacturer of footwear in Northern Europe, producing over one million pairs of footwear a year.
All Sievi products are designed, tested and manufactured at their factory in Sievi, Finland, and much of their footwear has been designed to solve the particular problems of working in the extreme conditions of the harsh Scandinavian environment, such as the Alaska Thermo Winter boot with its heated footbed and the Sievi Spike 3 boot with its unique traction system.
Here in the UK, most of us can only imagine what the coldest winter in the north of Scandinavia can be like, with temperatures dropping to -35°C. However, this is common in the north of Finland so, to ensure working people are safe, warm and comfortable in this climate, Sievi developed the Alaska Thermo safety boot which features an integrated, easy-to-use and rechargeable heating system under the footbed of the boot. The system has three temperature settings which are controlled with a button on the ankle which can be pressed to set the required heat level.
If the heated footbed is not required, the system can just be kept switched off. The rechargeable batteries are designed to last for the whole working day and can be recharged overnight, so they are ready to keep your feet warm the next working day. Every aspect of these boots has been designed for seriously cold conditions with a heated footbed, warm lining with Thinsulate™ thermal insulation, water repellent leather and winter-grade soles that grip and stay flexible in freezing conditions.
Along with freezing conditions comes ice which has obvious adverse implications when it comes to safety at work. Sievi were asked by the Finnish postal service, Posti, to help find a solution to prevent their staff from slipping in icy conditions.
As well as the slip protection, the footwear had to have toe and midsole protection and also be very comfortable and hard-wearing because the wearer would be walking many miles as part of their daily work. In response, Sievi designed the Spike 3 safety boot.
The sole structure of the Sievi Spike 3 boot features a unique, patented integrated spike mechanism that allows the wearer to twist out two metal studs from the heel without having to remove the boots. The studs are positioned on the heel at a specific point where the heel first strikes the icy surface, thereby giving exceptional traction when the foot hits the ground.
The boot can be worn as normal in everyday conditions but, when it gets icy, a small and very simple to use “switch” on the inside of the heel can be toggled to move the spikes in and out. When the spikes are in and not in use, Sievi’s unique PU sole material gives excellent grip and flexibility all year round. As with other Sievi Winter models, the Spike 3 boots include warm lining, memory foam ankle protection and water repellent leather uppers.
The additional and unique functionality of the Alaska Thermo and Spike 3 boots are designed for particularly extreme winter conditions which may be useful in certain parts of the UK or for very specific job functions, but Sievi also has a range of more traditional, warm-lined safety footwear all of which will keep your feet nice and toastie throughout a cold British winter. Warm lining material, heat reflecting insoles, a spacious last to give your toes room to wiggle and Sievi’s unique FlexStep sole material which gives excellent grip and flexibility in freezing conditions are all standard features on the winter range. Additionally, the Sievi Star Winter models also include memory foam ankle support and protection and a BOA® Roller fastening option for increased safety and comfort.
As part of their ongoing research and development, Sievi works very closely with its end user customers to trial and test new products before they are released to the market.
As an example, workers at Posti trialled the Spike 3 boot for a year to ensure the design, comfort and functionality met their requirements.
With nearly 70 years of design and manufacturing experience behind them, Sievi ensures that your feet are in safe hands no matter how extreme the weather. If slipping is a big problem or cold is not an option, Sievi footwear keeps you safe and warm.