“Comfortable footwear. Police work is all about comfortable footwear.”
– Officer Zavala, End of Watch
The minds over at Original S.W.A.T. believe that one of the most important tools in a uniformed professional’s arsenal is the pair of shoes he or she wears. Founded back in 1999, these folks set out to build a better boot for law enforcement officers, military, EMS, and other folks who spend hours at a time on their feet every day. It’s a brand that’s picked up steam among these folks, and it’s one of the reasons why when they came on board GovX a couple years ago, it became one of the fastest-selling brands to ever grace our website.
Why? Because these people listen to what their customers are saying. They constantly research ways to improve upon their already tested designed. Boots are tested in the lab and in the field. If a boot is returned, it’s scrutinized and examined like an artifact, to determine what lessons of the past can be learned from it. They build their designs from the ground up, with an eye for the kind of detail that their customers want.
Original S.W.A.T.’s social media game is on point, manned by crewmembers who believe every message, comment, and question are key ingredients in the alchemy of footwear creation.
“We get a ton of inquiries, questions, and comments from all over the world. I get a lot of pride knowing that people want to know where the nearest vendor is to pick up a pair, and showing us where their boots have taken them,” writes Arwin Siador, Original Footwear’s social media manager.
“Early on in my career here, I befriended one of our followers on Instagram. At the time, he was a civilian customer who enjoyed our boots, but later he enlisted in the Army and deployed. He took his 9” Classics with him, and when he finally found a moment to get to a computer he sent a message about how he now fully understood what we meant when we say our boots are made for all-day comfort. To get that kind of feedback from a soldier wearing our boots in a field like that is the ultimate endorsement.”
A glance over at OSWAT’s website reveals the intricacies behind their boots. No feature of the boot goes unconsidered. The outsole offers outstanding traction and durability, and the midsole offers the kind of shock absorption that those who spend hours on their feet rely upon. They even calculate the extra poundage you carry every day you wear heavier, less effective boots. Wearing a lighter boot from OSWAT means you might actually have some energy at the end of a long shift.
They’re boots designed with comfort, safety, and performance in mind, and not just for folks who chase down bad guys or kick down doors (though they’re designed to excel at both.) Folks who serve in EMS benefit from not just the technical construction of these boots, but also from the bloodborne pathogen-resistant sealant that’s worked into many pairs, and the slip-resistant outsoles that keep workers on their feet on the scenes of potentially violent incidents.
Making boots that perform for the folks who work frontlines all across America (and for many customers, across the globe) gives OSWAT employees a sense of pride and accomplishment. “I like being connected with the people, and hearing how they use our boots in the field,” says Arwin. “You get a sense of trust from these folks, sort of like how you’d trust a mechanic you’ve been going to for years. When people talk to us on social media or write reviews, you see their familiarity with our brand and their pride of ownership.”
This level of workmanship pride is found in every level of OSWAT’s operation, from the graphic designers who build the website, to the warehouse guys who ship shoes all over the world. A popular adage around the office is “You have to give up a good idea for a great one,” which illustrates the boundary-pushing ethic of the men and women making Original S.W.A.T. possible.