A foot in the door

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Its footwear costs more, but the extra comfort and health benefits has made Steel Blue safety boots the preferred footwear for companies all over the world.

Watch the video of Peter Nichols from Steel Blue.

Breaking into the niche market of safety footwear was tough for Peter Nichols and his company Steel Blue at the outset. 

Launched in 1994 and based in Western Australia, Steel Blue found breaking into the eastern-state markets a hard slog – Peter even had to live in a caravan for a few months in Sydney to help push the brand along.

But sales have grown 25% a year for the past six years; selling about 900,000 pairs of safety boots in 2005-06 – despite the fact that the boots cost more.

Steel Blue has increased sales through convincing workers their boots are superior. BHP agreed to trial some Steel Blue boots on a portion of its workers, with great success, as did Alcoa. Both companies still maintain footwear supply deals with Steel Blue.

The business now employs 85 and turns over $32 million a year.

See SmartCompany’s April feature on Steel Blue, Best foot forward.


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