Stepping through time, Safety Footwear spanning a second generation
In 1987 Stephen Noon made a choice.
He took a risk, leaving a stable job at thriving, historic company.
That stable job was only 1000 steps away from what is now the Rock Fall Head Office.
Our first year of trading saw the then ‘Major Shoe Company’ supplying high quality leisure footwear around the UK.
1987 to 1997
The next ten years saw the business grow exponentially.
Stephen expanded the range and began sourcing different types footwear from overseas.
The ‘Major Shoe Company’ was supplying household names such as Stead and Simpson, British Shoe Corporation and Charles Clinkard.
Redefining a Business, Retaining a Vision
Over the years, leisure footwear was becoming more widely available. Stock was held by major supermarkets and department stores. The market was becoming saturated and in 1997 the business was redefined.
Stephen began designing and manufacturing Safety Footwear, which saw the start of a partnership with Greenham…
...and we became Rock Fall
During the next 10 years we focused on producing the best fitting, lightest and highest quality safety footwear available.
Using traditional manufacturing methods such as the goodyear welted construction.
We built styles that were fully safety compliant and styles that wearers wanted to wear, rather than just being forced to wear them.
The first Safety Footwear style we launched, which is still available today is the Rock Fall Quartz.
Manufacturing using the highest quality components including specialist lining materials by Cambrelle® and 3M® it’s still popular today.
10 Years of consistency
Between 1997 and 2007 the strength of the brand grew. The range became wider and a national distribution network was carefully selected over the years.
We continued to focus on supplying the best quality and choice available.
During this time, additional brands entered the marketplace and choice was the word again.
Sons Richard and Matthew had joined the business and saw that whilst a myriad of manufacturers were designing fashionable styles, there was a lack of safety footwear designed for specialist environments and hazards.
Accelerating the vision
My parents have built solid foundations for the future. We've grown up around the business and it's instilled an incredible passion for footwear. The drive that our team, fellow directors and I have has yielded some wonderful results. We had a plan to accelerate growth by entering new markets and we know that we have only scratched the surface of what is possible. Richard Noon Director
The launch of an industry changing range
2007 saw the launch of the Vixen by Rock Fall range. A collection of styles designed specifically for women in industry.
Constructed on ladies lasts and ladies soles a true snug fit that ensures a comfortable and compliant fit in all environments.
The early 2010's
Developing the IMPACT SHIELD Internal Met Guard
The first guard of its kind to pass the EN standard. A lightweight, flexible inner plate that protects the wearer’s fragile metatarsal bones from impact.
The range was selected as a finalist in the BSIF Product Innovation Award in 2010.
Working with Airports and Underground Services
We had the opportunity to work with a national UK airport group and underground network providers.
With their input we developed the Dakota boot.
We designed it with a nitrile rubber sole offering enhanced resistance for de-icer and oils.
It’s also 100% Non-Metallic so won’t set off any metal detection alarms or scanners.
Working with Telecoms and Infrastructure installers
We had the opportunity to work with a number of telecoms and infrastructure installers and their contractors.
With their input we developed the Activ-Step ladder grip outsole.
The classic styled PM4004 is intended to be suitable for a staff uniform.
The ladder grip outsole enables installers to go from telephone mast to inside a customers home without changing footwear.
Protection in extreme temperatures
We developed the Rock Fall Alaska to offer advanced protection in extreme temperatures.
It’s been tested to conditions as cold as -40°C.
We worked with closely with 3M, arguably the industry leader in warmth and insulation technology.
The boots are made with innovative technologies that make it the most cold resistant and hardwearing style of it’s kind.
How do we stop a chainsaw?
Continuing to develop specialist styles we began the design and manufacture of a chainsaw boot.
Our Chatsworth meets the Class 3 certification. Which has been tested to stop chain speeds of 28 metres per second (63 mph) (5512 feet per minute)
The Chatsworth is one of the highest specification boots we do.
Aside from being class 3 certified for chainsaw protection, it’s equipped with a ladder grip outsole and is fully waterproof.
First working with FORCE10® Components
2014 saw the start of our partnership with FORCE10® to develop components built for the toughest of environments.
The FORCE10® scuff cap which has been tested to 56,000 revs using P180 sandpaper, placing it amongst the most durable scuff caps in the world.
The FORCE10® outsole has been tested to an abrasion resistant that is 86% higher than the required EN standard.
Launching into high value manufacturing markets
To expand our specialist offering we launched two ESD styles that enabled us to compete in the high value manufacturing markets.
We worked with Sympatex to develop RF008 FaraDRI and RF120 TeslaDRI.
In these environments it is key that safety footwear doesn’t mark the floor or scratch any surfaces it comes into contact with either non-production structures or final output pieces e.g. car panels.
Developing a range of uniform services boots in conjunction with Fire and Rescue organisations
Expanding on the great work we did with the PM4002 was something we always wanted to do.
In early 2016, we engaged with a number of the Fire and Rescue organisations in the UK to develop a range of uniform services boots.
These include day and parade boots and rescue boots. This relationship will enable us to make some very exciting styles in the future.