8 Feb 2005
Trailwear(HKTDC Fashion - Footwear, Vol 01,2005)
|Hiking boots and shoes from Ironsteel Worldwide Ltd feature dual density soles for greater comfort|
Highly experienced Hong Kong footwear manufacturers such as Ironsteel Worldwide Ltd are perfectly positioned to fit the ever-increasing numbers of consumers who want to put many miles on their shoes.
Ironsteel makes an extensive array of hiking boots and shoes, in either rubber sole or dual-density styles. "The dual-density sole has a hard rubber outer surface and a softer and lighter layer of Phylon on the inner surface," explains director Sam Ng. "It is lighter, feels like a cushion and is more comfortable than conventional rubber soles."
Some dual-density soles are made of Vibram imported from Italy, while the uppers are crafted of cow leather from the US, Korea, Taiwan and New Zealand.
The insides are lined with a German-made waterproof and breathable Sympatex-brand membrane, or the waterproof Hytrel brand imported from Taiwan.
Nine-year-old Ironsteel makes about 40,000 pairs of footwear a month, including trailwear, at an 800-worker plant in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland.
"We make waterproof hiking shoes in compliance with the EN345 European safety standards, with CE marking," Ng says. "These European safety standards are more stringent than US standards."
He adds that the minimum order is 600 pairs per style per colour, which can usually be delivered within 75 days of order confirmation. "The prices per pair are normally around US$27-28 FOB Hong Kong," Ng adds.
Besides developing and manufacturing its own Ironsteel product line, the company also engages in OEM. "Our OEM customers include major European brands," Ng adds.
Ironsteel's biggest market is Australia. "It accounts for about 30-40% of our turnover," Ng reckons. Europe, including Germany and the UK, is the second-largest market for the company, which also exports to other countries such as Malaysia.
Also hitting the European trail is Meitac Int'l Enterprise Co Ltd, which exports 60% of its products to the region as well as other areas such as the US, South America, the Middle East and Africa.
The four-year-old firm utilises PVC, PU, nubuck, leather and EVA from the mainland, Taiwan and Korea in its various hiking, sports and casual shoe lines.
Some Meitac models boast uppers made with cow suede together with mesh. "The mesh makes the upper breathable," director Mendy Mo explains. "The soles come in Phylon or TPR."
The firm, which designs and markets under the Meitac brand and also engages in OEM, manufactures about 240,000 pairs of shoes a month at its 1,500-worker plant in the mainland's Fujian Province. "Minimum order size is one TEU delivered 30 days after order confirmation," Mo adds.
Fujian is also home to Kong Cheong Shoes Ltd, whose 2,000-worker factory in Fuzhou turns out 200,000 pairs of hiking shoes, safety shoes and military boots per month.
The 14-year-old enterprise designs and makes low- to medium-priced EN345-compliant trailwear under the Rockstar brand using materials from Europe and Southeast Asia.
"They are lightweight, anti-slip, shock-absorbent and oil-resistant," says marketing assistant Zoe Wong of one series with cow leather uppers and Cambrelle lining.
She adds that the lining absorbs moisture and is breathable. "The shoes have PU two-density injection soles, which gives them greater durability," Wong claims.
Kong Cheong exports minimum orders of 500 pairs per style per colour to Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and the mainland 45-60 days after confirmation.
Like Kong Cheong, Road Mate Int'l Ltd uses cow leather to make the uppers of its hiking footwear. "The cow leather is imported from Taiwan, Korea and the US," director William Gan explains. "We can do Goretex or Sympatex linings, which are windproof, breathable and keep the feet warm."
Road Mate makes one million pairs of work boots and hiking footwear per month, including its own Road.mate brand, as well as OEM products for renowned international labels.
The 13-year-old company's trailwear collection is produced at a 7,500-worker factory in Zhongshan in the mainland's Guangdong Province and sells for approximately US$18-25 FOB Hong Kong a pair.
Road Mate requires a minimum order of at least 600 pairs, which can be delivered in three months to markets worldwide. "The US is our biggest market, accounting for about 45-50% of our turnover," Gan adds.
Energetic buyers should therefore definitely put their best foot forward and hike to Hong Kong to secure a firm foothold in the ever-growing trailwear market.
WRITTEN BY LIZA LEE
Forum Footwear Co
Unit 1, 11/F
Siu Wai Ind Centre
29-33 Wing Hong St
Lai Chi Kok, Kowloon
Kong Cheong Shoes Ltd
Rms 12-14, 6/F
Trans Asia Centre
18 Kin Hong St
Kwai Chung, New Territories
Meitac Int'l Enterprise Co Ltd
Flat H, 11/F, Blk 2
Hong Kong Garden
100 Castle Peak Rd
Ching Loong Tau, New Territories
Road Mate Int'l Ltd
New Tech Plaza
34 Tai Yau St
San Po Kong, Kowloon
|Hong Kong Buyers Request Form||Overseas Buyers Request Form||More Publications|