POCAHONTAS, Ark.—Heartland Footwear Inc. recently moved into the women's fashion boot market with the introduction of a line of women's rain boots.
Heartland said the fashion-forward, comfortable rain boots combine industry tough technology with on-trend prints that are ready to wear for the upcoming spring season.
The fashion rain boots offer the same durability as Heartland's other boots, and they are just not specifically designed for particular channels of protection, said John Callahan, Heartland vice president of sales.
“For example, we make food processing boots, or we make boots that work well in oil and chemical resistant environments,” he said. “The women's boot line that we've come out with is basically a rain boot.”
Callahan said “by definition, they are waterproof boots,” so the company tested the boots to make sure they do not leak. The rain boots were tested for abrasion and slip resistance by an independent laboratory.
The women's rain boot is an easy boot to put on and take off, Heartland said, and features excellent slip resistant outsoles and a strong steel shank support.
The boots are available in whole sizes 6-11 and are all made in the U.S. They sell for $17.99 and have been in stores since March 2014, including Menards locations in the Midwest.
Callahan said Heartland is known for its “industrial injection molded boots” as a category, so “it's natural for us to go into either women's fashion boots or men's boots or children's boots that are injection molded in the same process.”
He said the goal was to expand the company's sales. Although this is the first line of fashion boots for women, Callahan said its demographics for Heartland's work boots are split between men and women.
“There are certainly plenty of applications in the industrial markets for female boots,” he said.
Callahan said the company has identified the need for women's rain boots, especially in urban locations.
“It is a fashion item,” he said. “It's an item that has become a category over the last few years, and so we want to participate in it.”
Callahan said Heartland retained a design consulting firm—that he preferred not to name—that works with a number of brands in North America.
The company advised and guided the designs of the Heartland ladies line of rain boots.
Consumer feedback has been positive, he said.
“This is our first season, and we've sold a substantial quantity—much more than I thought we would for our first season,” Callahan said. “Everybody likes the patterns, and I think everyone likes the fact that it's a 16-inch boot with a very, very slip-resistant sole.”
Heartland Footwear was founded in 2010 with a goal to provide advanced design, ergonomic comfort and durability for the protective footwear industry.