Xaver Haimerl founded the HAIX company in 1948, establishing the first shoe factory in Mainburg, Germany. The company quickly made a name for itself locally by selling hiking and work boots.
The brand evolved in 1992 when Xaver’s son, Ewald (a deputy fire chief at Mainburg’s fire service and a master shoemaker at the HAIX factory) found that his fire fighting colleagues were unhappy with the rubber boots they had to wear. Ewald took action and designed a collection of functional leather fire fighting boots for his comrades, commenting “The more I learned, I decided to take the problem into my own hands.”
This work quickly garnered praise and recognition, leading Ewald to design and develop footwear for rescue workers and the police. By 1999, HAIX produced more then 100,000 pairs of shoes per year.
The need for a high-tech production facility became apparent, leading to a custom built factory in Croatia in 2009, with much greater capacity levels. In 2011, HAIX celebrated its six millionth shoes leaving the production line. Annual production levels in 2015 reached 1,000,000.
HAIX has grown into an international brand renowned for its specialist approach combined with an unwavering stance on quality footwear. The brand is now also well established in the military, policing, emergency, forestry, and industrial sectors.
Changing Firefighter Role
One of the biggest changes the industry is experiencing is the ever evolving role of a firefighter and the transition to more rescue based work. Previous stereotypes that summarized a firefighters’ role as simply putting out fires have been shattered and there is a growing awareness of how varied the job truly is.
HAIX designed, produced and manufactured the Fire Eagle after witnessing these changes, offering a footwear solution that accurately reflected the work completed by firefighters. This boot boasts a sleek, sporty functional design- lightweight and flexible whilst equipped with all required safety features.
With the Fire Eagle, HAIX designed footwear that also served as a visual signal function, with the two- colour design acting like a light in the dark when rescuers need to crawl one behind the other, entering confined spaces. This will mean they never lose track of colleagues in front of them and could make all the difference when worn in a real emergency situation.
As well as the Fire Eagle, HAIX offers a range of other footwear to the firefighting market to ensure the varied needs of firefighters globally are met. This range includes the Fireman Yellow- the preferred model for first time users, the Florian Europe – serving as the slip on boot for daily operations and Fire Flash, the most popular service boot with lace zipper closure.
Work is constantly ongoing to ensure these boots remain the best in the industry and models are adapted accordingly to changing demands. During the Fire Eagle launch, the boot was hailed as Fire Hero’s 2 little brother. Similarly, cosmetic additions are expected to be unveiled on the Fire Flash later this year.
Ewald’s first priority when designing footwear for firefighters in 1992 was to ensure that his comrades had the footwear they deserved and that it was an accurate reflection of their everyday roles and responsibilities. It is clear to see that this focus remains.
Toughest Boots In The World
Firefighters in Los Angeles, New York, Hamburg, Mexico City, Moscow, Hong Kong and Tokyo all place their trust in HAIX boots. Why? The footwear is industry leading – comfortable, reliable and equipped with all of the required safety features irrespective of terrain. Popular German TV show Galileo recognised this and once said that HAIX produced “the toughest boots in the world”.
HAIX continues to set standards with innovative designs created by the unrivalled expertise of the brand’s technicians. HAIX has a proud history of working with firefighters for firefighters.
For more information, go to www.haix.co.uk