2 Aug 2006
Men's Boots(HKTDC Fashion - Footwear, Vol 02,2006)
|Fame Trading Ltd offers Uplander-brand men’s leather hiking boots and safety work boots that are waterproof and built for hard work|
They simply never go out of style as manly footwear suitable for all occasions - taking everything from an evening out on the town to a hard day's cross-country hiking in their stride.
When it comes to high quality men's boots, buyers know there is no surpassing Hong Kong footwear manufacturers, who have gained a well-earned reputation for world-class products and speedy delivery.
One company that has 30 years' experience in meeting the needs of markets in North America and Japan is Meimon Co Ltd, which manufactures 40,000-60,000 pairs of boots a month at its 45,000-square-foot factory in Shanghai on the Chinese mainland.
Using US leather, 400 workers produce minimum orders of 3,000 pairs of men's boots within 45 days of order confirmation. "About 65% of the finishing on our shoes is done by hand," says sales manager Norman Chow, adding that the typical price of a pair of boots is approximately US$16 FOB Hong Kong.
Similarly committed to customer satisfaction is Nison Trading Co, which has specialised in men's leather footwear for nine years and produces some 50 different fashion styles.
Nison's portfolio, which ranges from the traditional shoe to the popular hybrid leather trainer-style boot, is made from Argentinian leather and often bears the firm's own PA Milano brand.
The company produces up to 40,000 pairs of leather footwear a month at a 200,000-square-foot, 200-worker factory in the mainland's Guangdong Province for sale on the mainland and for export to Australia, France and the UK.
Export manager Thomas Cheng notes that Nison's ordering policy is extremely flexible, with a minimum order quantity as low as 500 pairs. "Generally, our boots are in the US$22-25 FOB Hong Kong range," Cheng adds, noting that initial orders will be delivered within 45 days while repeat orders are available within 30 days of order confirmation.
Specialising in trendy, active footwear is Hau Tai Int'l (FE) Co, which has three production lines employing 980 workers who can complete more than 200,000 pairs each month for export internationally.
A typical hiking boot bearing Hau Tai's Rocky brand consists of suede or oily nubuck and mesh uppers, director Gary Lee explains. "Fully 98% of our shoes feature phylon soles, while 100% of our products are made with California lasts," he adds.
Characteristic of Hau Tai's offerings is model HT-8735A featuring a suede and nylon mesh upper with EVA phylon sole, which costs US$8.60 FOB Hong Kong, while HT-8706A boasts an oily nubuck and nylon mesh upper and EVA phylon sole and sells for US$14.80.
Hau Tai requires a minimum order of 1,200 pairs, and delivers one TEU 35 days after order confirmation and an FEU within 45 days. "We are flexible and can satisfy any request," Lee adds.
Buyers looking for rugged boots capable of standing up to the stresses and strains of hard work should check out the selection from Fame Trading Ltd, which has been in the business for 29 years.
For example, the safety boot that bears the company's Uplander brand utilises leather up to 2.2mm thick for the uppers and also includes steel toe caps that meet both ANSI and EN345 standards.
Equally tough are Fame's waterproof leather hikers with phylon soles, which conform to UK-based SATRA Technology Centre standards and have been machine-tested to 20,000 flexes without suffering water penetration.
Negotiable minimum orders of around 2,500 pairs cost US$18 per pair FOB Hong Kong for Uplander boots and US$23 a pair for leather hikers for delivery 45-50 days after order confirmation.
Mainland and Vietnamese factories that cover some 30,000 square feet and employ 1,200 workers produce 20,000 pairs of boots a month for export to the US, Europe and the mainland. "We only use US hides, mainly for the consistent quality," director Joseph Wong explains.
Taking a similar safety-oriented view is Fortune Trading Co, which is taking active steps to reduce metal components such as toecaps and shanks in boots and shoes that can accidentally activate airport security alarms.
"A new trend is the composite toecap that protects toes and a strong fabric shank that supports the foot arch, both of which can pass security checks without activating any alarm," marketing executive Gary Feng observes, adding that these lightweight composite materials also lessen wearer fatigue.
Fortune's 20,000-square-metre, 1,800-worker factory in Tianjin on the mainland produces 180,000 pairs of leather safety footwear a month using nubuck and suede leather from Korea, Taiwan and the mainland or buffalo leather from India.
The three-year-old company specialises in Goodyear welt and PU injection construction, has ISO 9001 certification and its products meet CE, QAS, CSA and ASTM safety standards.
Fortune's latest offerings include Wellington boots with fleece linings and leather uppers, oil resistant soles and steel toecaps that meet EN345 safety standards, as well as black safety boots that feature energy-absorbing soles, breathable linings and steel inserts for protection against penetration.
They cost US$14.60 per pair and US$13.80 per pair respectively FOB Tianjin for minimum orders of 1,200 pairs delivered 45 days after order confirmation to North and South America, Europe and the Middle East.
The age-old adage that a journey of 1,000 miles starts with a single step has never been truer - and is infinitely easier when wearing men's boots made in Hong Kong.
WRITTEN BY DAVID MOORE
Fortune Trading Co
Rm F7, 24/F, Blk F
Garden Rivera Bldg
20-30 Tai Chung Kiu Rd
Sha Tin, New Territories