4 Aug 2005
Men's Shoes(HKTDC Fashion - Footwear, Vol 02,2005)
Vol 2, 2005
|These dressy leather shoes with laces or buckles are designed for more formal occasions by Meimon Co Ltd|
Leather is the material of choice for men's shoes at Meimon Co Ltd, which began manufacturing in 1976. "For the uppers, we use cowhide from the US, which is finished on the Chinese mainland," explains manager Norman Chow.
Meimon also buys leather from Italy or Spain upon request, while PU, leather or rubber are typical materials used in outsoles. "We make casual or dressy shoes in classic styles," adds Chow, noting that hook-and-loop tape straps, laces and buckles are "always popular" and square toes are "back in fashion" this year.
The 29-year-old OEM company also manufactures men's orthopedic and tuxedo shoes at a 45,000-square-foot, 400-worker plant in Shanghai that produces 40,000-60,000 pairs a month.
Sizes from US 61/2 to 16 are available in three different widths at prices ranging from US$11-35 per pair FOB Shanghai for a minimum order of 3,000 pairs. Meimon, which exports mostly to the US, Japan and Canada, delivers 45 days after order confirmation for first-time buyers; 30 days otherwise.
Even more prolific is safety work shoe specialist Fortune Trading Co, which produces 150,000 pairs of shoes, and six-inch and eight-inch high boots a month.
These are manufactured at a 150,000-square-metre, 1,200-worker mainland factory in Tianjin that is ISO 9002-, CSA-, QAS- and EN345-certified.
The 11-year-old OEM firm uses natural leather materials for its uppers, sourcing buffalo leather from India, nubuck from Korea and Taiwan, and suede from the mainland. "We use leather because it's strong and durable," says marketing executive Gary Li.
Fortune Trading's footwear features steel toecaps and anti-penetration outsoles made of rubber, PU or EVA; though Li notes that safety shoes have undergone a number of changes over the years.
"More emphasis is being put on a fashionable, leisure-style look, with tan or brown colour choices added to basic black," he says, adding that the firm also offers a moisture absorbing synthetic lining and cushioning for the heel, the ball of the foot or the entire foot bed.
Fortune Trading's shoes are priced at US$8 a pair FOB Tianjin; six-inch-high boots sell for US$9-15 a set and eight-inch boots are US$9-17. The minimum order is 600 pairs of shoes, delivered 45-65 days after order confirmation to major markets like the US, Australia and Europe.
Another firm making a name for itself with its wide variety of men's shoes is Hua Tai Industries (Far East) Co Ltd. "We make sports shoes, casual shoes and boots, slippers, sandals and walking shoes," says merchandiser Jacky Ng.
Among the seven-year-old company's best-selling lines is sports footwear such as jogging and tennis shoes priced from US$2.50-25.50 a pair FOB Xiamen, and casual shoes that sell for US$3.50-6.50 a pair.
They are manufactured at a 1,500-square-metre factory in the mainland's Fujian Province, where 500 workers turn out 300,000 pairs of shoes per month ??including women's and children's shoes.
Hua Tai uses PU, PVC and TPR in its outsoles and primarily relies on synthetic materials such as PU, PU nubuck, microfibre suede and PVC, though it also uses leather. "Synthetic materials are more popular in our South African and South American markets, while Europe and the US use more leather," Ng adds.
Sandals and slippers sell for US$0.70-3.50 per pair and walking shoes cost US$4-6 per pair FOB Xiamen for minimum orders of 2,000 pairs delivered 30 days after order confirmation.
Hua Tai, which is also an OEM producer for Bata, recently developed a new line of sports/casual shoes that are suitable for both hiking and indoor use. "They're not as bulky as a sports shoe and the sole is thinner," Ng maintains.
Indeed, sports shoes have become an increasingly essential item in the wardrobe of truly modern men. "Our leather and PU sports shoes are very popular," claims Shing On Footwear (HK) Co Ltd assistant manager Vivien Chow. "People like natural materials such as leather, although PU costs less."
The 10-year-old OEM/ODM supplier employs PVC, cow suede and PU nubuck in its uppers, while the outsoles are made of phylon, TPR and rubber.
Its 20,000-square-metre, ISO 9001-certified factory in Fujian Province has a monthly output of 350,000 pairs of sports shoes, hiking shoes and work shoes; many of which bear its own Yi Luan brand. Shing On demands minimum orders of one TEU delivered 40 days after order confirmation to Germany, the US and Australia.
Sports shoes figure equally prominently at Hau Tai Int'l (Far East) Co, which manufactures jogging, basketball, tennis and golf shoes at two factories in Fujian Province totalling 9,300 square metres and employing 1,150 workers.
The 11-year-old OEM/ODM company's range of materials for uppers includes nubuck, oily nubuck and cow suede, with outsoles of rubber or EVA phylon.
Hau Tai produces 230,000 pairs of shoes a month priced from US$6.50-16 per pair FOB Xiamen, and requires a minimum order of 1,200 pairs delivered 35-45 days after order confirmation. "We export to Asia, Europe, the US and South Africa," proprietor Gary Lee adds.
It seems Hong Kong companies are making sure men have plenty to kick up their heels about when it comes to fashionable footwear.
WRITTEN BY ANDREA PAWLYNA
Best Light (HK)
7/F, Blk B, Valiant Commercial Bldg
22-24 Prat Ave
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Rm F7, 24/F, Blk F
20-30 Tai Chung Kiu Rd
Sha Tin, New Territories
Hua Tai Industries
(Far East) Co Ltd
Henan Electric Development Bldg
389 King?䏭 Rd
Shing On Footwear
(HK) Co Ltd
22-26A Austin Ave
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon