Earlier today [Tuesday] COMBAT & SURVIVAL Magazine visited the extended factory in Croatia where HAIX Combat Boots are handmade. As many serving soldiers will be well aware, combat boots manufactured by the German uniform footwear company HAIX are currently worn by members of the Dutch, German and UK Armed Forces in addition to others. Design and prototype work on the company’s specialist fire, police and military footwear ranges, which account for 62% of shoe and boot production, are undertaken at the Mainburg headquarters in Bavaria, but the majority of their products are manufactured at their recently expanded factory near Mala Subotica in northwest Croatia.C&S spent several hours touring the Croatian plant in the company of its Manager watching how one shift of the near 800-strong team craft top quality combat boots and uniform shoes from European-sourced hides, fabrics and composites. The trip was so fascinating that when at the end of the day Markus asked us if we had any questions we responded: “Can we do the tour again?” It really was that interesting, which says something as we have previously toured the Mainburg HQ and small batch production line for the magazine.
By coincidence, we are currently coming to the end of our initial test period of the HAIX Black Eagle Tactical 2.0 Gore-Tex membrane boot and as I had not yet had a chance to try this model for comfort on a really long journey it seemed a good idea to wear it on my 48-hour trip from Devon to Mala Subotica via London and Zagreb. You can read my review on this boot in the December issue of C&S, on-sale 10th November, and subject to operational commitments the report on the factory visit will probably go in the February ’17 issue.