How To Go About Handloads For Big-game Hunting?

Handloads to be used for big-game hunting deserve as much attention as loads intended for varmint shooting or target work. Ironically, a large segment of the shooting public seems to feel that just any old load will suffice for the big game. To some extent, this is true because it doesn’t take anything extra-special to put down that buck. However, it’s not just that your hand load is capable of downing a buck that counts. There’s a special thrill in filling your tag using a load that you spend long hours tailoring just for your rifle. There are side benefits as well. You get a lot of practice shooting while you’re searching for that “best” load and you’d be surprised knowing exactly what your load will do at various ranges does for your confidence when that once-in-a-season chance at a trophy comes along.


Many Hunters Fail to Tailor Loads

I suspect that many hunters fail to tailor loads for their big-game rifle for one of two reasons–either they don’t know how to go about it, or they think the job takes too much time. As for the latter, you bet it takes time. But can you think of a better way to fill idle hours in the summer months preceding the fall hunting season? As far as knowing how to go about tailoring a load for your big-game rifle, it’s simple once you sit down and give the matter some thought.

Consider my most recent load development job. I wanted a load for my Thompson/Center T/CR ’83’ .30-06 that I could use for both mule deer and elk here in Wyoming. My first step was to decide on what bullet weight I wanted to use. A 150-grainer would work fine on mule deer, but it’s a bit light for elk if a lot of bone has to be broken to reach the vitals. Years of experience have proved to me that a good 180-grain bullet in the .30-06 is an excellent choice for elk, giving both good penetrations through heavy bone and plenty of expansion to inflict quick-killing damage to tissue and the vital organs. However, an 180-grain.30 caliber bullet can be a little on the heavy side for mule deer, sometimes failing to give adequate expansion.

What I wanted was something in between, a bullet I could count on to perform on both mule deer and elk under most of the conditions I anticipated. A 165-grain .308-inch bullet–a weight many shooters consider ideal for the .30-06–was the obvious answer.

Now as to bullet form

I’d be hunting both mule deer and elk in the same area where the terrain is dominated by deep, rocky canyons, huge sage-covered basins and draws with skimpy patches of timber found only on the highest ground. In other words, my shooting would most likely come at any distance from 100 to 300 yards or more. For such shooting a streamlined, pointed bullet that retains its velocity well is essential. After checking my bullet shelf, I settled on five bullets to test–Hornady’s 165-grain spire point and their 165-grain boattail spire point, the Nosler 165-grain solid base Spitzer, the Speer 165-grain Spitzer and the Sierra 165-grain boattail hollow point. The latter has a poorer ballistic coefficient than the others but is still a good long-range performer. It mattered not one bit to me which of the five bullets I used–they’re all excellent game bullets. The one that proved to be the most accurate in my rifle would be the one I’d use on deer and elk.

Powder next

The list of those that give excellent results in the .30-06 is almost endless. But I had a prerequisite that reduced the selection considerably. This rules out the use of all but the slow-burners. Hodgdon’s 4831 and 4350, DuPont 4350, Norma MRP, Hodgdon’s H414 and H450 and Winchester 760 were the ones I finally settled on trying. The three ball powders–H414, H450 and Winchester 760–would yield the poorest loading density, but all three have shown me good performance in other .30-06 rifles, so I wanted to check them in the T/CR.


For primers, I chose to use standard large rifle–of various brands–whenever possible. Because ball powders are difficult to get started, particularly in cold weather, I’d use magnum primers with them. With the other powders, though, the .30-06 doesn’t hold enough of any of them to require magnum primer heat and extended burning duration to effect complete consistent combustion.

At this point, I should point out that preselection of the bullet weight and style, as well as the powders to be tested, has a drawback. It’s possible that none of the combinations will produce the optimum accuracy a rifle is capable of. Still, I think that it’s important to use a bullet that will do the particular jobs I have for it and if this means settling for a little less than the best possible accuracy, so be it.

When the planning is completed, it’s time to go to work. The first step is a selection of cases. Here it’s important to use cases of the same make. There’s enough dimensional variation among cases of the same make without adding the problems of mixing brands where the capacities can vary greatly. Such variations will have an adverse effect on both pressure and accuracy, ruining otherwise well-conducted tests.

After inspecting the cases and discarding any with defects, run them all through full-length sizing dies. I want to stress full-length resizing as opposed to neck sizing. On a hunting trip, each round must chamber easily, and this can be guaranteed only when you full-length resize. A neck-sized case may come much closer to fitting your chamber perfectly, but it will also be more difficult to chamber and extract. On occasion, a neck-sized case won’t chamber. Or, if you manage to fully chamber a tight round, it may not extract. You don’t have to have much of imagination to see what failure to chamber or extract can do to a hunting trip. Play it safe–always full-length resize!

After resizing and decapping, both accomplished in a single operation in today’s dies; it’s a good idea to trim all of the cases to the same length. I trimmed my .30-06 cases to 2.484 inches, .010-inch under the maximum. When you seat your bullets with a friction fit rather than crimping them in place, uniform case length is of little importance as long as no case exceeds the maximum length. Nevertheless, having them, all the same, length is just one of those little trivials that I feel good about.

Next, you must clean the cases to remove all of the resizing lubricants. This is important! Besides collecting grit which is damaging to your rifle’s chamber, lubricant left on the cases prevents the case, which expands at the moment of ignition, from momentarily grabbing the chamber walls as it should. The result is increased back thrust on the breech face which gives indications of high pressure with powder charges normally developing safe pressure. You can wipe the cases clean with a solvent-soaked rag or tumble them until they’re clean. Whatever the method, clean the resized cases thoroughly.


Now it’s decision time

You can load the rounds in your reloading room, then go to the range to test them, but this takes a lot of time. Remember, with each bullet and each powder you have, to begin with; the starting load is shown in the reloading manual and work up in increments of no more than one-half grain until you reach the maximum for your rifle. Sticky extraction, flat primers or best of all, case head expansion, are pressure indicators you must monitor carefully. Each load requires three rounds so that you can check accuracy. The problems in logistics when you try to do all of the loadings at home, then shoot at the range, are obvious.

By far the best system is to do your reloading right at the range. This isn’t nearly as difficult as it sounds. You’ll need a press for bullet seating, a powder scale for weighing charges and some means of seating primers. A powder measure is a handy extra, but not a must. A nifty tool for this work is the Huntington Compact Press, a strong, powerful and very portable hand press on which you can set both primers and bullets. Then, should you run out of prepared cases, you can see easily full-length resize with the Huntington tool. However, lacking this handy-dandy piece of equipment, it’s no big chore to use your press at the range. Simply secure it to the shooting bench using a couple of hefty C-clamps. Of course, no matter what press you use, you’ll have to set up your scale on the bench to weight charges. A word of warning: you can work on the scale at the range only on calm days; any breeze whatsoever will work on the scale pan, and you’ll never get the beam to settle down and give you a correct reading.

I prefer to prime my cases separate of the press, so I use the Lee Auto-Prime tool at the range. This is a hand-operated tool that allows me to seat each primer with thumb pressure. I can feel the primer in, and I know exactly when it bottoms, thus avoiding crushed primers or a high primer condition, both of which can occur when you use the priming fixture on your press.

Your first load should be the starting load shown in your reloading manual, not the middle or maximum load shown. Many shooters think they can start at the top and work up, their reasoning being that all of the manuals are conservative because of liability. Bull! Those loads are developed by expert ballisticians with equipment designed to monitor pressure. They know their business, and you’ll do well to pay attention. Sure, you may be able to safely exceed the published maximum in your particular rifle. But then, too, you may encounter high pressure long before you near the published maximum. Variations in chamber and bore dimensions, temperature, humidity, case capacity, powder burning rate and other variables combine to change chamber pressure and load performance from rifle to rifle or load to load. It’s these variables that account for the differences in loading data between one manual and another and they’re the reason that you should always start low and work up carefully.

I prefer to pick one powder and try all bullet and charge combinations with it before moving to another powder. I load three rounds, fire them for accuracy at 100 yards, then advance the charge no more than one-half grain and load three more, each time monitoring for indicators of excessive pressure. When pressure is encountered me back off one full grain and consider that charge to be maximum. When I’ve completed this, I move on to another bullet and repeat the whole process, continuing until I’ve tested all combinations with one powder. Then I switch to another powder and repeat the whole process.


At the conclusion of all this, which takes a lot of time and considerable shooting, I’m usually confronted with several bullet/powder combinations that produce similar accuracy. Three-shot groups with each of these are fired again to check my initial results, then I sit down and analyze the results. In some instances, my best accuracy may come with low or medium powder charges while other combinations are most accurate with near maximum charges.

In the case of my .30-06, which I’d be using on the game in the open country at relatively long range, I ruled out all but the hottest loads.

At this point, your choice of loads is whittled down. In my .30-06 I had just two that I felt deserved more testing. You’ll notice that I’ve not mentioned the use of a chronograph to measure the velocity of my loads. There’s a simple explanation for this. While it’s very nice to know what the muzzle velocity of a load is, it’s neither essential nor pertinent to load performance. You can get some idea of what your loads are doing for velocity by comparing them with similar loads in the reloading manuals. If you have access to a chronograph, by all means, use it, but if such facilities are unavailable, don’t worry about it.

Now that I’ve settled on two loads for further testing, I head back for the reloading room where I can work in comfort and guaranteed precision. I load up 15 rounds of each load, then go back to the range and sight in with each load, so the bullets hit approximately where I want them to at 100 yards. Next, I shoot three-shot groups with each at 100, 200 and 300 yards, allowing the barrel to cool completely between the firing of each group. The reason for testing the loads at these distances is because the load that groups best at 100 yards isn’t always best at longer ranges.

As I shoot these groups, I pay careful attention to where the first shot hits because this is the shot from a cold barrel and tells me what to expect on a shot at the game. After all of the groups are fired, I study the targets carefully and finally choose the load I’ll hunt with. In the case of the .30-06 load for hunting mule deer and elk with the T/CR rifle, my choice was a charge of 59.0 grains of H4831 powder behind the 165-grain Nosler solid base spitzer bullet.

One more step is required before load development is complete. Sight the rifle in at the distance you choose, then shoot groups at other distances to see where your shots will hit. With my chosen load in the T/CR .30-06, I found that if I sighted it to hit 1 inch high at 200 yards my shots would hit 2-1/2 inches above point of aim at 100 yards and 5 inches low at 300 yards. Sure, you can use ballistic tables to gather this data, but the results won’t be as accurate as those obtained through actual shooting.

As you can see, working up a load for big-game hunting isn’t difficult, but it does take a lot of time. There are a few points that still need discussion, though. The first involves cleaning the bore during firing tests. If you don’t clean the bore, fouling from both powder and jacket metal will soon have an adverse effect on accuracy, casting doubts on the accuracy of your work. I clean my bore after each three-shot group, first scrubbing it with a brush dipped in Marksman Choice, then following with a couple of patches soaked in the same solvent. I follow these with dry patches; then one soaked in Outer’s Crud-Cutter, a fast-evaporating solvent that leaves the bore dry and free of grease and oil. Finally, before firing for the group, I put a fouling shot through the barrel.

Second, what do you strive for in the way of accuracy in a hunting load? The best you can get, of course, but don’t throw up your hands in disgust if your three-shot groups don’t measure an inch or less at 100 yards. Too many big-game hunters have been led to believe that nothing over an inch group is acceptable. I don’t buy that. To begin with, few light sporters will shoot this well. Then, too, no hunter can take advantage of such accuracy from field shooting positions. However, I do feel that you should insist your rifle produce groups under 2 inches and if it doesn’t, have a gunsmith do some tuning work on it.

Then there’s the matter of which load to choose; the most accurate or the one giving the best velocity? Here a lot depends on shooting conditions. If your shots at the game will come at close range where maximum velocity and a flat trajectory aren’t of much concern, then, by all means, choose the most accurate load. But, for long-range shooting you want all of the velocity you can get, so I’m usually willing to trade 1/2-inch of accuracy for more velocity. More often than not, I’m not confronted with this decision; I usually find at least one top-velocity load that delivers accuracy on a par with the best lower velocity loads.

Finally, is it essential that you try a variety of bullet makes and styles when developing a hunting landlord? Of course not! If you have a favorite bullet, you need to work only with it. The same is true of powder. But remember, the fewer combinations you try, the less your chances of finding the most accurate hunting load.

As any hunter knows, a big-game hunt is comprised of about 99.9 percent walking, waiting, spotting and stalking and 0.1 percent shooting. Why, then, should you devote hours and hours and hundreds of rounds to the development of a big-game hunting load? It’s simple–because unless you do, you greatly increase the chance of all of that walking, waiting, spotting and stalking being for naught. The best job of hunting in the world is wasted if you can’t hit your buck when the chance finally comes!

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Timberland: A Key Player In The Professional Footwear Market

Another View About Elk Hunting


Timberland: A Key Player In The Professional Footwear Market

If you’re looking for the best steel toe boots for your job, Timberland boot is a perfect choice. Based in Stratham, New Hampshire, Timberland sells footwear, apparel, and accessories through both retail and wholesale outlets, as well as its Web site,

The Timberland Co. got its start in 1952 and now employs about 6,300 workers. The company develops, markets, manufactures and distributes products globally, and operates 200 company-owned outlets. The firm also has 550 stores throughout the world, including shops in the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Some of the brands distributed by the firm include Timberland, Timberland PRO, SmartWool, Timberland Boot Company, iPath, and Howies.


Timberland PRO sells work boots and footwear for working professionals who require protection and comfort on the job. S&H Distributor chatted with Bob McCarthy, a 17-year veteran of the footwear industry and Timberland’s senior manager of product marketing. (Editor’s Note: McCarthy recently left his position with Timberland.)

In his role overseeing the development of the Timberland PRO product line, McCarthy interacted and observed workers in various environments, conducted marketplace research and collaborated with safety managers, retail partners and the Timberland PRO design and development team.

In a previous position, McCarthy was the senior product manager and senior manager of field services for Timberland, spearheading various developmental training programs. Before Timberland, he worked for Nike in several positions around the country for seven years.

Know Better about Timberland

Solving Problems for the Workers

S&H Distributor: Is Your Firm a GlobalManufacturer?

BM: Timberland PRO is manufactured in Asia as well as in the Dominican Republic.

S&H Distributor: One industry analyst told us that Timberland is the new kid on the block in safety footwear, compared to Red Wing and some of the other established brands. How is Timberland developing its brand?

BM: I would say it’s good that competitors like Red Wing and Wolverine are there because they certainly push us. It’s much like in the old days when one could say that Adidas forced Nike to strive to be No. 1. Red Wing and Wolverine both have about 100 years’ head start on us, but certainly, we have grown into a very strong business. We are now third in market share and have spread into a variety of occupational end-uses, like the service industry. When you are thinking about wait staff and people who work in the kitchen as well, slip resistance is incredibly important. They struggle with the proper fit for shoes, and they need shoes that are repellent to a variety of cleaning agents and water.
We try to think of situations and wearing occasions where workers need specific types of footwear, and certainly, the service industry is one of them, and we’ve now gotten into that industry with the Timberland PRO BLACK Series.

We also have a line of boots called the Timberland PRO Valor Series that is ideally suited for law enforcement personnel and EMTs. With these introductions, we’ve moved from a work boot brand to the occupational brand of choice. Our compound annual growth rate is phenomenal, and it’s much, much faster than the industry is growing as a whole. So while I say that we are pleased with these metrics, I don’t think we are ever satisfied. We want to continue to draw inspiration from not only ourselves and the things that we learn in our own Invention Factory here, which is shared with the Timberland parent company, but we also make time and take pains to ensure that we engage in fruitful conversations with industry and trade and that we leverage the best technologies, materials, and approaches from other industries.

S&H Distributor: How do you see the U.S. safety footwear and work boot markets shaping up?

BM: Well, I see what everybody else sees. These are challenging economic times, and it’s going to take a while to climb out. But during tough economic times, you can take one of two tactics as a brand: One is to try to price things as inexpensively as possible, and try to cut your margins and well, for lack of a better word, cheapen your products.
I think the other approach, where Timberland PRO is much more focused, is putting an emphasis on quality. I think during tough times, if I were a betting guy, I would say workers and businesses look to quality and things that they can depend on. It doesn’t serve any useful purpose if you have to invest $100 in a pair of boots and find that they are falling apart two months into your job, and then you have to go ahead and replace those. In some industries, boots are a part of the overall uniform requirement, and they are partially subsidized by some manufacturers and other businesses, but in those cases, those subsidies are not being increased. If anything, organizations are scrutinizing those things, and those subsidies may very well be decreasing in the months ahead. So I think the quality is first and foremost.

Also, we make a concerted effort to understand, from the perspective of safety managers and employees themselves, what issues we can solve through design, aesthetics, and materials to improve the overall performance of the boot.
So for example, if I’m in discussions with officials at a large railroad operation, and I understand that they are experiencing both durability and cushioning problems and need nimble footwear for employees that are working on uneven and unstable surfaces, I’m going to focus our efforts on things like minimizing foot fatigue. I’d also consider incorporating elements in the soling of the shoes that will help to deflect shock and supportive devices within the construct of the boot that provides stability on uneven terrain.


These are the kinds of things that we learn from spending time out in the industry, really observing and talking with workers to best understand the environments in which they toil. The two biggest things that I could offer to your readers–Timberland PRO focuses on product quality and maintaining relationships with safety managers and consumers. This enables us to develop products that are designed for an occupational use and that can be truly problem-solving in what they deliver.

S&H Distributor: It sounds like Timberland PRO spends quite a bit of time observing how footwear performs in the workplace.

BM: A few years ago, we went through an evaluation process with a large rail company, visiting their second largest hub, and probably observing close to 200 workers over the course of the day. It was interesting observing these staffers in a very large facility, maybe 10 percent of the overall worker population, and seeing that every single person had blown thru the toe area in their work boots. Many of those workers were working either on cement flooring, which is harsh and hard on the knees, the lower back and the lower extremities. This is one of the leading causes of injury, whether you are looking at wholesale trade or transportation and warehousing, manufacturing, or even the construction sector.

We also noticed that there were a large number of staffers working on, for want of a better phrase, oversize cheese graters. The metal flooring in this facility was very sharp, very caustic in nature, and really could chew apart boots, on the sole as well as in the upper parts of the boots. So we started to take taking these things into consideration, we created and tested prototypes–a couple of different iterations of them–and came out with a new boot in a couple of different heights. It features high abrasion-resistant materials, like Timberland PRO Ever-Guard Leather. And we bumped up the thickness of the rubber in appropriate locations that make contact with the ground in a kneeling position.

We incorporated other features, including a solid rubber sole that offers good resistance but also featured an independent suspension like a system within the construct of the soling so that as consumers walk on uneven surfaces, it absorbs the shape of the terrain and then releases.

So we started to think, well, we are solving problems for these workers because we are getting inspiration from and testing with them, but we can also take this design/investigation to broader applications and other target markets and consumers. And that often is our approach; some of our product is more niche-oriented. But here was an example of a process that solved several needs and that certainly crossed a wide variety of jobs.

The Younger Consumers are Facing Limited Choices

S&H Distributor: Regarding OSHA’s recent standard calling for employers to pay for PPE–is that standard going to have an impact on work boot manufacturers or purchases of safety footwear?

BM: From what I recall, when I first saw that, the thing that stuck in my mind was metatarsal protection because there are some industries that require protection that extends beyond the toe cap. So, if there’s a toe safety requirement as well as a metatarsal protective requirement, in those cases, employers, I believe, will be mandated to make those purchases for their employees. But in many of those industries, employers will do something to help defray the cost of those shoes anyway, because shoes are really like tools. You think about the canning industries and glass factories, and other operations where there’s the potential for large heavy objects to fall potentially on one’s foot and cause what could be a career-ending injury. You know that’s risky to start with, and so I think a lot of employers in good conscience are already helping out in that regard, so I’m not sure that that’s going to change things dramatically. It’s not necessarily, from what I recall reading, affecting the broader market, which is the basic protective toe cap market.

S&H Distributor: Do you see any unique market developments?

BM: Something that I think is fun and compelling is the fact that we are looking at new consumers, and if you think about the infusion, potentially, of younger consumers into the work marketplace, that’s an exciting opportunity. But what’s happening right now is that in many cases they are under-served.


You look at a lot of the major urban centers, and you see what these young workers have in their closets and what they are wearing. It’s Chuck Taylors, or Vans, or DC or Globe. Some of these brands you may not have heard of. But often these lifestyle-oriented shoes would be their preference if they were entering, let’s say the warehousing industry, and they were getting a job at a distribution center or a packaging center. But there are no shoes in that style out there that meet the protection and durability qualities required on the job site. So they have to gravitate then towards if you’ll pardon the expression, “their father’s boot.” They’d have to gravitate towards a work boot. Or maybe a [hiking] chunky style that otherwise would not be their first choice. In many ways, the younger consumers are facing limited choices.

To that end, this season we are launching a line of shoes called the Bridge Series. The idea: we are trying to bridge that gap between consumer’s lifestyle choices and what’s required from a work perspective. So we have shoes that’ll be reminiscent of these different lifestyle-type shoes, whether they are related to more of a skate profile or more of a court-type profile, meaning they can be worn from work straight out with friends. With the Bridge Series, we’ll dial up the work attributes so the new footwear will have things like steel-toe protection; they’ll have rubber toes that overlay in some cases the steel toe for added durability.

Think about kids that might be kicking pallets in a distribution center, for example. The compound used in the outsole will have oil and fuel resistance. The outsole, regarding its pattern, will have multiple leading edges to create a high coefficient of friction and therefore slip-resistant properties which will be important for those who are working on either cement or epoxy floors. We’ll make sure that there are also design cues and colors that make these shoes aesthetically pleasing to those consumers, so that when they buy these shoes, they are going to find little elements of discovery, little cool logo applications, or design cues that make them unique. This new series will have an element of “cool” to them. This is really about catering to an under-served consumer.

You can also go to see more detailed product reviews. Lamont Ly, the founder of this site is an expert in foot care tips and footwear product reviews. You can learn out more tricks that can be sharing on his resource.


Quality First For Footwear Specialists

Following a visit to specialist protective footwear supplier Haix, editor Andrew Lynch reports from Germany on a family-run business that has grown into one of the world’s leading providers of boots for emergency responders.

FOUNDED IN MAINBURG NEAR MUNICH in 1948, Haix has become a market leader for high-quality functional footwear across Europe. The company has a unique approach to innovation, combining functionality with old-fashioned handicraft production using high-quality raw materials and high-tech machinery. During the last ten years, Haix boots have become the footwear of choice for police, army and firefighters across Europe.


With 30 percent of the UK fire market, Haix is proud to be known as a high-quality and high-priced boot provider. With over 500 employees, 100 of whom are based in Munich, they remain close to their customers, who understand the value of the product.

Although the company has a strong global presence, on my visit I found the 60-year-old company to still have an active family-orientated approach and reassuring passion and pride for their product.


Protect and Serve

I was guided around the Mainburg plant by Wolfgang Plein who informed me of the company’s ethos. “To protect or save somebody’s life we assume first of all that you have to protect yourself with the best equipment possible during the mission. The feet, in particular, have a very special importance,” Wolfgang emphasised.

“They carry our body, as well as all the equipment necessary to perform the rescue or operation. They keep us moving through rough terrain. They provide safe footholds. They ensure that we do not lose our footing. While only possible, however, if you are equipped with functional footwear that unites foot and shoe.”

During the factory visit, I was surprised at how each stage of the process is handled by footwear experts, from moulding the sole to testing that the final product is waterproof. Whilst the machinery is high-tech, the essential craft of shoe-making is regarded as pivotal to all employees. It is this dedication to detail which is reflected in the enthusiasm of end users. The Haix commercial outlet is visited by police officers and firefighters the world over badges, helmets and memorabilia adorn the walls, donated by emergency responders from South America, Asia and the USA.

It is the attention to detail and understanding of the role of emergency responders that gives Haix the edge, Wolfgang told me. He explained how crucial high-standard boots are to the end user. “A balanced foot climate does play a very important role. Anatomical points of view are often not considered a norm but are very important to avoid long-term damages to the human body as far as it is technically possible.

“Good functional professional footwear should therefore not only protect from incoming moisture. They should also have systems which absorb foot perspiration during the daily usage and transport the foot perspiration outside using a membrane and conditioning system. This is what our HAIX[R]-Climate-System provides.”


Technical Specification

To reduce the daily pressure of body weight and equipment on the feet, footwear should suitable in a way that the weight is absorbed during trading and the rising energy is converted into kinetic energy.

The right outsole plays a special role here. It has to support the natural rolling movement of the foot, produces anti-skid and has features that ease the wearer’s tasks. “For this, foot and boot have to unite,” Wolfgang informed. “Therefore, the correct shoe size and the anatomic shape of the inner shoe have a particular importance.

“If the inner side of the footwear corresponds to the anatomical form of the human heel as far as possible, foot and boot can unite. The footwear then becomes the flexible foundation of the human body. It protects the wearer, eases their tasks and avoids, as far as possible, long-term health damages.”

Haix boots, Wolfgang tells me, combine all these elements. “To guarantee all these characteristics during the whole lifespan of the footwear, it is a necessary precondition to select quality materials. Here, the correct choice of leather and its processing is decisive. Only leathers that are worked to keep their shape for a long period can base and support the foot.

“This, of course, affects the price. HAIX[R], Germany’s leading supplier of functional footwear, does produce footwear with these required characteristics.”

HAIX[R] System

According to Hax:

The most important aspect of daily operations is footwear, which has to give hold and safety to the foot. For well-being and improved performance, functional footwear is a rising priority for organisations and their employees.

With the basic norm DIN EN 15090 for Firefighting and DIN EN ISO 20344/20345 for Workwear Footwear, standard safety footwear only fulfils a part of the functionality people need to prove their activity and performance capability. Safety footwear that only corresponds to the basic demands of this norm, however, discounts orthopaedic factors. Correct fit and conformity differ from shoe manufacturer to shoe manufacturer.

Under the aspects of the modern orthopaedic awareness, shoe engineers and technicians from HAIX[R] developed a product range of footwear which offers the wearer a revolutionary comfort and fitting form. The HAIX[R] footwear solution typifies all values which are connected with fitting form, wear and moving comfort, lifespan and safety.
Accurate workmanship, technical know-how and using a material such as the GORETEX [R] membrane combined with other strictly controlled raw materials, create practically orientated products which one can fully rely on in every situation.


Work And Safety Shoe Sales Moving Up

As the ’80s draw to a close, work and safety shoe manufacturers and importers said the decade had marked a return to steady work and safety shoe sales.

Many works and safety shoe makers reported yearly sales increases during that period, attributing the growth to a stable economy and having the right merchandise. And company officials are gearing up for what they hope will be another decade of growth.


A Good, Steady, Upward Climb

“It seems to be a good, steady, upward climb,” said William Ison, Vice President of sales, Musebeck Shoe Co., Oconomowoc, Wis. While Ison admitted that the market is not exploding, he characterized the growth as real.
Musebeck, whose work and safety footwear constitutes one-third of its men’s business, has increased by about 12 percent over year-ago figures. Ison anticipates that the work and safety sales will climb still higher when the company’s fiscal year ends this month.

“The market has increased because of the growth of the economy,” he observed. “More people are working now.”
Makers reported there is a stronger demand for particular types of work and safety products than there is for others. The demand for insulated work and safety footwear is not active, for instance, said Richard Sherwin, vice president, Dunham Shoes, Brattleboro, Vt. The strongest category, he said, is basic work and sports shoes. Dunham, which is running 8-9 percent ahead in sales, credited its new product category (work shoes) for the increase.

“If you want the long-term growth, you have to build the right products,” said James Levine, President, Import Systems International Inc., (ISI) the exclusive licensee for Dickies Brand footwear, here. In the cycle of changes in the work-and-safety market, many trends emerge and, at ISI, “The growth trend that Dickies has is a mixture of work and casuals.”


Levine noted the company’s business in the work and safety category grew by 75 percent in the last year.

For Lake of the Woods, Prentice, Wis., sales increases have been steady. The company’s growth in the work and safety market is 20 percent over last year, said Jerry Hess, vice president, and general manager.

Specialized Business

“The market is becoming a more specialized business,” said Hess, referring to the growing number of shoes being offered for specific job functions.

Georgia/Durango Boot Co., Franklin, Tenn., reported the company’s safety shoe business had increased 10 percent over last year since it added steel toe athletic shoes. However, Leonard Paul, general manager of the firm, declined to provide figures for the work-shoe category.

As for C. Itoh Shoe Co. Inc., here, work and safety business has doubled in the past two years because the firm has begun sourcing in Czechoslovakia,” said Gary Miller, vice president of the company. Sourcing has a great deal to do with the increase in business, he added.

Business has been “exceptional,” for Warson Group Inc., St. Louis, since it entered the work and safety market in December ’88. Douglas Sproull, vice president of merchandising, said the company anticipates a growth of 20 percent in 1990. “The market has been relatively stable,” he advised. “A lot of people who have gained market share have increased at the expense of others.”

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Timberland – Leader In Work Boots Design

True to its reputation as an innovator in occupational footwear, Timberland PRO introduced several new lines in Spring and Fall and will continue to extend its offerings in the coming seasons.

The following details two of Timberland PRO’s most successful products, the TiTAN series, and the PowerWelt work boot, as well as the Endurance series, introduced this year.



Timberland PRO TiTAN

Timberland PRO’s cornerstone series, the TiTAN work boot provides protection. Made with the Titan family of work boots also meets ASTM standards. Styles include TiTAN Terrain, TiTAN Heavy Duty, TiTAN Hiker and TiTAN Oxford, among others.

Timberland PRO PowerWelt

Timberland PRO PowerWelt is a revolutionary work boot featuring abrasion-resistant Ever-Guard[TM] leather. This genuine full-grain leather has been impregnated with polyurethane, enhancing the leather while retaining its essential characteristics of breathability and flexibility. Ever-Guard[TM] leather is ten times more abrasion resistant than standard leather, is heat resistant up to 346 degrees F., and is waterproof.

Through extensive market research, Timberland PRO identified a consumer need and responded with this product that protects against intense workplace conditions involving extreme abrasion, heat, oil, and water.


Timberland PRO Endurance

Timberland PRO Endurance work boots redefine comfort using an innovative anti-fatigue technology that provides a solution for those who spend prolonged periods on foot during the workday.

Endurance incorporates the comfort elements of the successful Timberland PRO[R] PowerFit[TM] system, including toe shape, footbed design, and moisture-managing materials, while adding a unique conical midsole construction for structured, cushioned support.

Two Spring Endurance styles–Endurance and Endurance Sport–feature conical EVA mid-soles. Endurance styles include:

  • Endurance Puncture-Resistant (PR) featuring the Timberland PRO[R] Anti-fatigue conical midsole technology, but uses polyurethane as the medium, which in testing demonstrated even greater shock attenuation. With a steel puncture plate for protection, Timberland PRO rubber cup sole for durability and traction, and Timberland PRO[R] rubber in the toe for abrasion resistance, Endurance PR is a truly unique product in the market.
  • Endurance Waterproof incorporates anti-fatigue technology in a rugged, yet lightweight construction with exceptional cushioning, designed especially for wet environments. The boot features a premium waterproof leather and an aggressive tread design for slip, oil, and abrasion-resistance.

Building on the timberland heritage of craftsmanship and quality, Timberland prO is a design leader for working professionals who require the best comfort and protection on the job. Timberland PRO embraces the company’s commitment.

For years now, Timberland PRO has been working hard to make good on its promise of “doing well and doing good” through relationships with organizations such as SkillsUSA, a partnership of students, instructors, and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce.

This year, Timberland PRO has also partnered with Share our Strength to help put an end to childhood hunger in America and foster important relationships with influencers who can help motivate the nation to join in the fight.
Timberland PRO puts the same commitment and carers into each of its products as it does community service partnerships. Programs such as the Invention Factory help Timberland PRO to get first-hand accounts of footwear needs from consumers and begin to improve upon areas where the occupational footwear industry is underserved.

To learn more about Timberland PRO, please visit

To find out more about Timberland, see

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Nursing Shortage At Hospitals

Even through a long day busy work in the hospital with the best shoes for nurses (means the best support), nurses still feel tired because of the nursing shortage. But recently, the need for nurses working at hospitals declined statewide and in almost all metropolitan areas. Local experts gave several reasons for the trend. Better pay has helped attract more students to nursing school. More graduates are seeking fewer available jobs. And more medical care is being delivered in outpatient settings, so hospitals need fewer nurses.


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Targeting New Shooters

The continued decline of participants in the shooting sports industry has brought to focus the emergence of women participation in the sport. Women have been practically neglected in the absence of an organization which would recognize their abilities in the shooting business. However, the formation of the Women’s Shooting Sports Foundation has recently given more attention to their cause.

With the traditional market leveling off, the shooting sports industry is shifting its efforts to address the growing women’s market and other new participants.

women shooting sports

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The Lady Hunter: Women Have Plenty Of Options For Gear

9 percent of hunters are women, which, according to my trusty calculator, translates to 1.25 million hunters who have guns that may or may not fit them properly. Some women get by quite nicely with about any shotgun, and my wife, Phyllis, is one of them. Well, almost, anyhow. She can handle the dimensions of most factory stocks, but like most women, her upper-body strength is not as great as a typical man’s, so some guns are too heavy.


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Vendors Target Snappy, Winter-friendly Boots

Are people finding more activities to keep them outside during the most brutal months of the year?

Following one of the harshest winters in recent memories, makers of outdoor performance footwear say they see untapped potential in the winter months, particularly if they can add a degree of youth appeal and fashion flair to traditionally pragmatic designs.

winter shoes

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You Can Walk Away From Heel Pain And Bunions

Besides choosing the best shoes for plantar fasciitis, great news for those who suffer from heel spur pain. A new technique called endoscopic plantar fasciotomy can bring quick relief – and many people return to work in only a matter of days.

Heel spur pain is treated in stages. First doctors reduce the inflammation of the tendon. Then they reduce the pressure on the heels with the use of specially molded arch supports.

foot care

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