Female First Responders Require Women's-Specific Footwear
Magnum Answers the Call
An Overlooked Consumer
Throughout footwear history, the comfort of women has been no less than ignored. The painful, lace-up boots of 18th Century and constant trend toward high heels have implied to women that comfort is not a priority. Such was the case in uniform footwear, as well. Until recently, uniform footwear was essentially designed for men. So-called "women''s styles" were simply smaller men''s styles made available to women.
This unisex trend overlooked a valuable market which is demonstrating consistent growth. Women make up 15 percent of public safety personnel, up 50 percent from 10 years ago, with an even higher percentage in the emergency medical field.
Magnum answers the call
For over 15 years, Magnum has been the leader in offering unsurpassed comfort, technology and value in uniform footwear used by law enforcement, fire/rescue and emergency medical agencies around the world. With its long history of addressing the needs of the tactical and service footwear markets, it was the natural progression for Magnum to be the first footwear brand to develop and market a unique collection of footwear that address the needs of women. The Magnum Women''s Uniform Collection, introduced last year, addresses the specific requirements of women in uniform with enhanced fit, comfort and performance features.
Women''s vs. men''s requirements
Research has shown that women demand footwear that is much different from men due to anatomical differences in a woman''s calf muscle and foot. The Magnum Women''s Uniform Collection is made on a women''s-specific last, so the footbed fits the shape of a woman''s foot. The women''s last is narrower and tapered in the heel for a better fit and wider in the forefoot for added comfort. Additionally, the collar is cut lower to accommodate the lower calf muscles of a woman.
The lightweight, slip-resistant outsole is lower in profile to accommodate lighter weight personnel, and the women''s-specific 3D2 tri-density insole features a slightly softer foam base for additional comfort and protection.
Marion Reed, a first responder from Sacramento, CA, sang the praises of her women''s boots in a recent letter to Magnum. She wrote, "I just purchased a pair of Magnum [Women''s] Midnite Plus boots. I work on my feet up to 12 hours a day and was having a lot of pain as a result. Inside a week of my purchase the pain was gone. I just wanted to send my appreciation."
The Magnum Women''s Uniform Collection features five styles: Stealth, Stealth Safety Toe, Stealth Side-Zip, Storm and Midnite Plus.
The Magnum Stealth is the #1 selling uniform boot worldwide. The new Stealth is an update of the original Magnum boot, the 1152 Magnum. Building upon the success of the popular 1152 style, Magnum USA worked in conjunction with focus groups of American uniformed personnel and with European designers to achieve top-quality global style, features and benefits.
The Stealth''s increased surface area of the proprietary Friction+ outsole design exceeds industry slip-resistance standards ASTM F 1677. Additional full-grain leather material creates a more polishable area and a sturdier boot, while quarter panels of 1150 denier nylon allow for increased breathability. For exceptional comfort, designers opted for a Cambrelle® moisture wicking lining to draw moisture away from the foot. A women''s 3D2 contoured insole utilizes three layers of impact-absorbing materials, including elastomer shockpads to cushion the foot.
The new Stealth Side-Zip features the added convenience of a flexible, lockable zipper. The Stealth Steel Toe features the added protection of an ANSI-approved steel toe.
The waterproof Storm is a mid-cut lightweight boot featuring a full grain leather and 1150 denier nylon upper. For added protection from moisture, the Storm features a waterproof, breathable Sympatex® membrane and a Dri-Lex® moisture wicking lining.
The multi-functional, mid-cut Midnite Plus features a leather and 1150 denier nylon upper. The athletic tread pattern of its outsole is bike pedal friendly, allowing the wearer to react quickly in pursuit situations.
Past and future performance
According to Paul Brooks, CEO of Hi-Tec Sports USA/Magnum USA, new styles are introduced in men''s versions, and only the most popular styles go on to be produced for the women''s collection. Still, Brooks sees the Women''s Collection growing in the near future.
Though the women''s collection only accounts for 10% of Magnum''s sales, the demand for women''s-specific uniform footwear is substantial. The introduction of the Women''s Stealth Side Zip proved successful, generating a 100% increase in sales from 2001 to 2002.
Annette Cotton, a reserve patrol captain in Tennessee, explains, "Personally I use and swear by [women''s] Magnums. I wear them for street work, search and rescue and with my dress uniform. They are the most comfortable boots I have ever worn and they wear [age] well."
For more information on the 2004 Magnum Uniform Footwear Collection or to find a local dealer, visit the Magnum website at www.magnumboots.com.