October, 2015 - Security personnel need daily duty footwear that is not only pleasant to wear but also delivers climate comfort across a wide range of weather conditions, temperatures and activities. The Tactical GORE-TEX Footwear product class satisfies all these requirements.
This was the outcome of a user trial conducted at Munich's Oktoberfest by Gore and security company Securitas in Autumn 2014. While working at the festival 20 Securitas employees wore Meindl's Police Trek GTX, a daily duty shoe manufactured in accordance with EN ISO 20347: 2012 and featuring highly breathable GORE-TEX fabric. At the end of the trial period the security officers filled out a questionnaire and answered questions put to them by a Gore representative at personal debriefing sessions. The test persons confirmed that the footwear concept was waterproof, highly breathable and offered climate comfort and a generally pleasant feel – even at elevated temperatures or high levels of activity. All of the test persons, without exception, would recommend these shoes to others.
THE ULTIMATE TEST FOR WORKERS AND THEIR WEAR
Attracting over six million visitors in two weeks, the Munich Oktoberfest is the ultimate test for workers and what they wear. Security personnel have to cope with all kinds of scenarios: heat and cold; dry and wet conditions; routine and stressful situations; periods of low intensity activity alternating with vigorous activity. Securitas, the largest private security company in Germany, has supplied security services to the Oktoberfest, the largest festival of its kind in the world, for the past seven years. In 2014 some 250 Securitas security officers worked at the festival. Their main responsibility was the 6,000-seater Schottenhamel tent, where the first beer of the season is poured to rapturous applause, and the beer garden outside with seating for up to 4,000. Securitas is also responsible for patrolling the perimeter of the fairground. Fifteen of the 20 test persons wore the shoes over a period of 16 days - for between 6 and 9 hours a day. Some of them even wore the shoes for up to 16 hours a day because they kept them on when they went off duty. Depending on their security role and where they were deployed at the Oktoberfest, the security officers covered distances of up to 20 km a day.
A CONVINCING PERFORMANCE - EVEN IN EXTREME SITUATIONS
The test shoes scored well with the wearers in many respects. They all confirmed that the shoes were totally waterproof. As one Securitas employee said whose job it was to work outdoors:
Even after several hours of heavy rain in the first week, no water got inside my shoes.
The weather at the 2014 Oktoberfest could not have been more changeable: there was heavy rain, brilliant sunshine and outdoor temperatures ranging from 4°C at night to 25°C at midday. Nevertheless, over two thirds of the test persons said that the climate inside the shoes was always pleasant - even when they were working inside the tent. As one of the wearers said:
Whether I was running to a hotspot, breaking up a fight or diverting a crowd of people with a colleague – my shoes were always comfortable.
NOT MUCH OF A SWEAT
The breathability of the shoes also met with a positive response. 75% of the test persons said that they had either only sweat very slightly or not at all.
Even after being on duty for a full twelve hours, my feet didn’t feel sweaty at all. You can't say that about most other shoes,
commented one of the test persons. Almost half of the wearers said that they had sweat less in the highly breathable GORE-TEX shoes than they had in the shoes they had worn in the past. Furthermore, the Meindl Police Trek GTX shoe made an impression on the test persons with its wear comfort, fit, weight and walking comfort. Another key advantage was also mentioned: the flexibility of the shoe sole, which at the same time offered a firm footing and even held out when one of the security officers stepped on broken glass.
The footwear concept with highly breathable GORE-TEX fabric fully copes with the demands and requirements of the Oktoberfest,
says Reinhard Reis, Securitas Munich area manager, by way of summing up the results of the user trials.
It is imperative that our security personnel have the right footwear so that when they are working, they can concentrate fully on the job in hand.