The 26th edition of ‘Expoprotection‘, the Trade Show for risk prevention and risk management held in the Paris ‘Parc des Expositions-Porte de Versailles‘ from 7 to 9 November, ended on an extremely successful and dynamic note characterized by growth.
With more than 745 exhibitors, including 298 new entries, the biyearly Show offered a complete panorama of the innovations and inventions from the two complementary sectors of Occupational, Natural and Industrial Risks and Security and Firefighting, increasingly emphasizing Expoprotection‘s role as an event of reference for the market, above all, in Europe. This is all the more so true considering that at this edition, in particular, the international scope of the event was amplified, with more than 40% of the exhibiting companies coming from abroad and representing no fewer than 30 countries. In this context of dynamism and farsightedness, the event wanted to propose a new program dedicated to the Expoprotection Demain, with the aim of offering the main players in prevention and risk management an overview of what will be their occupational universe of reference over the next 15 years to come. All this was expressed in a cycle of eight conferences and discussion forums, as well as through a space dedicated to start-ups and networking.
Always with a focus on innovation characterized by a futureoriented mindset, Expoprotection presented more than 300 new products and innovations at this edition, of which we will provide a brief overview, together with a series of interviews, and a selection of the most important players in the panorama of safety footwear found at the fair
Marco Dal Medico – PANTHER
“We have been exhibiting at Expoprotection for a number of years, but I must confess that this edition seemed particularly lively and international, insomuch that I believe we will use a larger stand of around 120 square meters, like the one we had at A+A, at the next edition. Participating in events like this is very important for a business like ours that has a market of reference that is 80% foreign-based. Here, at Expoprotection, we presented our leading product, the Race line, which has already sold more than 60 thousand pairs between May and November. It’s a line of sneakers designed for the safety industry, which is EPA Class 2 certified with a high level of dissipation for electrostatic discharges. It is characterized by an anatomical shape that follows the natural morphology of the foot, allowing the foot to also repose on the metatarsus, the waist edge, and the heel, areas that do not normally provide any kind of resting place for the foot. Moreover, thanks to the direct injection of the midsole, the anatomical shape remains unaltered over time, unlike removable insoles that lose their properties through wear-and-tear
. The Power Cap toe-cap, made of a Metal Free composite, stands out for its lightness and tapered shape that is both invisible and versatile. However, the brand new innovation that we proposed at the fair is Zensole, an innovative antistatic insole (that is sold separately), and which is based on the principle of Homeostasis, or rather the ability of the body to constantly adapt itself, in search of the best solution, while improving the posture, circulation, microcirculation, and finally, overall performance. It is a state-of-the-product that we developed in collaboration with a Medical team and for which we have the exclusive patent in safety”.
Sergio Reniero – DIKE
“We have been participating in this fair, since we first got our start five years ago. Here, we meet up with the entire Francophone world, which for us represents the most important foreign market (followed by Germany, Belgium, Holland, Spain, and Iceland). In line with our mission of being ‘different’ and bringing the world of safety together with that of fashion, is our brand new and irresistible Cyclon line:
characterized by strong and extremely fashionable colors, it is ultralight (weighing less than 500 grams), with a dual density anti-slip PU outsole, and an anti-perforation midplate that is stitched onto the upper and made out of mixed ceramic fibers. This midplate is lighter in weight than traditional steel midplates and capable of protecting the entire foot, while also guaranteeing maximum comfort and flexibility. The upper is made out of waterproof crust, and matched with open weave nylon, for a greater degree of freshness and breathability, and the details are designed by hand. The toe-cap is aluminum, lightweight and highly protective, and is invisible from the outside of the shoe. This line, like all our footwear, is a universal line of products that was not specifically designed for any one sector or working environment”.
Giovanni Falco – U POWER (UGROUP)
“At Expoprotection, we are proud to present our new Red Lion by Upower collection, the first collection that is absolutely anti-fatigue, thanks to the Infinergy insert made by Basf, which is a proven winner in the world of running, as seen by the worldwide marathon record-holder. Infinergy restores 58% of the energy discharged while walking, which is much more than EVA, and unlike EVA, it does not lose its shape, while maintaining unaltered its own properties at any temperature that falls between +40 and -20 degrees. Thus, it is extremely high performance in both the summer and winter. Increasing the comfort of the footwear is also the use of state-of-the-art expanded polyurethane with a low density for the midsole, guaranteeing a never-before-achieved lightness, while the aluminum, perforated toe-cap with membrane allows for a higher degree of breathability, and the soft polyether insole recirculates air. No other footwear in the world of safety is capable of offering all this”.
Roberto Mastrullo – UNIWORK (OVERTEAK)
“We chose Expoprotection to present a premiere showing of our new X3 line of footwear, which is characterized in particular by a triple density sole with TPU torsion inserts located in the central area, allowing for greater ease of movement to both the left and right, with a resulting elevated level of comfort for the worker. This special sole is then combined with an upper made of highly breathable fabric that is specifically designed for the summer season and for those working in environments with elevated temperatures, and a composite-toecap and non-metallic Kevlar midplate, making it also more suitable for use in environments with a metal detector. Another innovation is, then, the DIA line, which unlike the X3 (that has an injected sole), features an applied rubber sole with a strong grip”.
Henrik Wiingaard Madsen – AIRTOX
“Our mission is to reinvent safety shoes with products that are characterized by exclusive technologies and a high performance. An exceptional example of this is the innovative Whitelayer anti-perforation material, which has never before been used in the segment of footwear: solid like steel and soft like fabric at the same time, it is two times lighter than Kevlar, as well as breathable and absorbent. Another important innovation is the UTurn fastening system,
which allows for the rapid opening and closing of fastenings by simple turning a knob either right or left, thus making it perfectly suited to the needs of the most demanding workers. Another leading technology is Acqua-Cell, a membrane that is highly waterproof, while also guaranteeing an incomparable breathability. These technologies guarantee an offer of footwear that is top notch and exclusively developed by our Research and Development department, and not just simply the fruit of collaborations with outside partners. This is because we believe that today’s market of safety requires products that are genuinely innovative and high performance. It is not by chance that our logo refers to the world of extraterrestrials and the technology of the future… Ours is a young company, but we are quickly growing on an international level”.
Francesco Macchi – COIM
“Ours is a company specialized in chemical products, and so, at Expoprotection, the businesses that exhibit are our very customers. Our participation in the fair is accordingly important, above all, in terms of visibility on the safety market. We have participated in Expoprotection for a total of three editions, and can confirm that the fair has grown a lot and is increasingly becoming important on an European level. We also participate in A+A in Germany, which is a showcase of international scope. Among the new products that we proposed at this edition of Expoprotection, was included a special kind of PU with polyester base, which is specifically suited to the production of boots in the agricultural and industrial sectors, guaranteeing a greater degree of lightness, with physicalmechanical properties that are superior to traditional PVC”.
Savina Vannella – COFRA
“Among our latest innovations, the Majorana line of footwear stands out in particular for its high degree of lightness, flexibility, breathability, and above all, for the presence of an uncut seamless woven upper, which is less subject to tearing in the bonded areas or in the sewn areas that are subject to stress by the foot. Moreover, it is completely Metal Free footwear, and therefore suited to environments that use metal detectors, with anti-torsion support, and protection of the toes and sole through ultra-resistant TPU/PU. Similar to Majorana is the Fluent model, which always features an uncut seamless upper, but with an aluminum toe-cap”.
Luca Feltrin – GARSPORT
“Expoprotection represents an important appointment for us, above all, with regards to the French market, which is among our markets of reference. For this reason, we chose this Show to present our new Heritage Powered by Michelin line, which offers a number of different models with an exclusive design that combines S1 and S3 technically certified materials, in accordance with the specific use and needs of the end customer. Moreover, it is enriched by the presence of a new sole that has been developed exclusively by Michelin for Garsport. Fitted with an EVA midsole, this new sole offers extreme lightness and excellent resistance to slipping and, thanks to its antistatic properties, is resistant to heat, oils, and acids, for multiple kinds of use. The line is broken down into three different models: Monza S1P that comes available in three colors, the low-cut Imola Low S3, and the higher-cut Imola Mid S3. The Imola comes available in a black microfiber version or brown leather”.
Stefano Dimiccoli – ALBA&N
“Our brand – Alba&N –, first launched in 2006 and specialized in the production and sales of work and safety shoes, is the result of a group of companies from a successful background, with twentyplus years of experience in the international footwear market. Here, just like at A+A, we focus on presenting innovations above all in the segment of high performance materials with technical characteristics, including those for example with a high level of resistance to water or reflective materials”.
Filippo Scolaro – GIASCO
“Safety is a quickly growing market, which in my opinion, is in need of an annual fair of reference, and so the alternation on the trade fair calendar between Expoprotection in Paris and A+A in Dusseldorf is without a doubt a winning choice and of benefit to both, since it replies to the real needs of businesses and professional operators. Here, in Paris, we presented three new lines.
We have Stabile, first launched around 6 months ago, which has been completed by the introduction of new models and new versions of the upper. It is characterized by an anti-torsion insert applied inside the sole, making it more rigid and sturdy in the rear area, and especially suited to the sector of heavy construction. We then have the Kube Line, which features a compressed PU sole with a “cube-shaped” design that is characterized by highly anti-slip properties, and Roof Grip UNI 15583:2015 certification, designed for those working on roofs, which has now been extended to also include the agricultural industry. Finally, among the innovations of particular note is the brand new Rubber 4×4 model, with rubber sole inspired by tire treads, that is especially suited to asphalters, welders, etc., since it is especially resistant to cuts (with a resistance superior to that of TPU) and heat (300-plus degrees). These, just like all our other 150 items, are available for immediate delivery”.
Giovanni Grigolato – GRISPORT
“It’s the fourth edition that we participate in Expoprotection, an appointment that is becoming increasingly important, because the French market of safety is growing and the fair is constantly improving in terms of the quality and number of exhibitors and visitors. It is not by chance that we are here to present our new Ranger Safety collection, developed in collaboration with Gore-Tex, Vibram, and Boa: an excellent product for different temperatures, climatic conditions and outdoor activities. It is, like all our other footwear, a safety item inspired by the world of mountain climbing and trekking, which is characterized by a comfortable and wide shape, and by the use of highly breathable and protective materials. It’s extremely waterproof and capable of offering a high level of comfort throughout the arc of the year, thanks to the use of the Gore-Tex MS Sportive membrane, and a Vibram sole that is self-cleaning and grip-fast, as well as an ultra-quick Fastening system with wraparound Boa”.
Cosimo Grimaldi – PEZZOL
“We returned this year to Expoprotection after 4 years of absence. This is because, after having invested above all in the segment of private labels, we would like to relaunch our Pezzol brand on not only a national level, but, above all, on an international one.
Besides our presence at this and other events of reference for the safety industry (including first and foremost A+A), we intend to focus on creating strong visibility within our stores, while promoting the image of the brand through marketing and ad campaigns. At this edition of Expoprotection, we presented a premiere showing of our partnership with Gore-Tex, which joins the ranks of other pre-existing partnerships that are characterized by a spirit of high quality, like those with Vibram and Boa. In particular, this collaboration with Gore-Tex regards the development of products designed for Utilities and Oil & Gas workers, with top-of-therange characteristics that stand out in particular for their high resistance to wear-and-tear, high degree of breathability, and high level of resistance to water. Moreover, we are among the few business today that still produce everything in Italy, in Barletta”.
Gianfranco Battaglia – ASTRA SAFETY
“We have been participating in Exproprotection since 2000, but we also participate in Dusseldorf’s A+A: the former is aimed above all at the European market, while the latter is more international in scope. Here, in Paris, we presented a premiere showing of our new line of safety footwear, Modern Safety, which is completely Made in Italy. It is a product characterized by a high level of comfort made possible by a Memory Foam insole, which is made out of a special polyurethane material with memory and anti-fatigue effects that absorbs impacts while walking. At the same time, it protects the joints and against bad odors, thanks to its antibacterial and breathable properties. All this is combined with a wide and comfortable shape, an ultralight composite toe-cap, and a waterproof microfiber upper combined with a special 3D fabric that is highly resistant to abrasion”.
Alessandro Berdin – EUROMAX (BOOTS COMPANY)
“It is the third edition of Expoprotection that we take part in. It is an event that is quickly reacquiring a high level of importance on an European level, which for us is especially important since it is aimed at a market – like the French and French-speaking one in particular-, in which we are strong in terms of gardening and agricultural boots, but not yet fully present in terms of safety boots”.
Luciano Trevisan – FTG SAFETY SHOES
“The new product that we brought to the fair is the brand new Eolo model from the Olympia Line, which is WR and CI certified. This product is highly innovative because it can withstand up to -30 degrees below zero, and is also waterproof and fitted with a winter lining that is breathable at the same time. Always from the same Line is the new Khione model, which is higher cut, booteeshaped, and equipped with a waterproof zip. Both models feature the Softwalk system in closed-cell polyethylene that is inserted inside the sole, in order to offer maximum comfort. Another innovation regards the introduction of four new models to the existing Sport Line (Squash, Tennis, Golf, and Cricket), which are characterized by the presence of a seamless upper, making them sturdier and free of the protrusions that could create tears, and a semiconcealed fastening system that quickly and easily slides open and closed. Included in this line is also a tennis shoe model, which although it is 01SRC certified, is not safety certified since it lacks a toe-cap”.