XRD® Met Guard at the NSC Expo
The National Safety Council (NSC) Congress & Expo was held last week in Anaheim, CA and XRD® Met Guards were there in full force. As the pioneers of the soft internal met guard, it was great to walk the aisles of the NSC Expo and see XRD Materials all over the place.
When XRD Technology was introduced, the Engineers at Rogers Corporation knew they were on to something special. This material had all the major benefits of PORON Products (open-cell, won’t break down over time, etc) but when impacted, the molecules momentarily bond together creating shield. Immediately after the impact, the material goes back to its “resting state” which is soft to the touch.
With this revolutionary product in hand, the team went to work looking at what industries would benefit from this fantastic product. Of course contact sports were top of the list but, after many conversations, the safety industry was also called out…more specifically, the top of work boots. In many hazardous environments, workers are required to wear boots that have a metatarsal guard (“met guard”). This guard is to protect the top of the user’s foot from bruises and breaks.
Met guard users over the years became accustomed to a big bulky hard plastic or even metal attached to the top of the boot. Now, you don’t have to be a shoe designer to know that thick heavy plastic on the top of a shoe is not comfortable. But never fear because here comes the XRD Met Guard.
Our team went to work designing a met guard which would be designed inside the boot. We worked with many different boot people in the safety industry and after a few versions, the ideal met guard was born. This met guard would revolutionize the work boot industry. No longer would people who need to wear met guards need a uncomfortable and not really the best looking accessory to their boots. Not like work boot people are looking to accessorize but dropping some weight off there shoes and letting the boot be flexible all while having great protection…yeah, this is something everyone was excited about.
Fast forward to today where there are numerous boot companies designing the XRD Met Guard into their boots. Partners such as Wolverine, Blundstone, Ariat, Justin Original Workboot, Keen Utility, and more use the XRD Met Guard. Walking the NSC show floor, it was great seeing these and other partners such as Carhartt, Stanely, Oliver, and Rockport showing beautiful boots which also have the protection workers need. They have even taken the XRD Met Guard and designed it into some more casual looking shoes and boots.
So the next time you see a pair of work boots, take a closer look…do you see the met guard or is the XRD Met Guard designed inside?