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Lemaitre Safety Boot

The Legacy Of The Maxeco Boot From Lemaitre

Lemaitre celebrates 30 years of Maxeco by asking the question – is this South Africa’s most beautiful shoe?


For 30 years, Maxeco has helped build a nation with the world's toughest workforce. Across construction sites, mines, farms and factories, almost 10 million pairs have helped realise the dream of a stronger South Africa by protecting the millions of workers who built it. Now that’s a beautiful thing!


Every legacy has to start somewhere. For Lemaitre and their iconic Maxeco boot, it began when the brand was introduced to South African shores. It’s a story based on the recollections of the Innovation Manager at the time, Cedric Novis:


“In the late 80’s Bagshaw Footwear successfully bid on an 18-station dual density direct injection machine at an auction in Babelegi. After much consultation, we agreed to use the machine to introduce dual density to the safety footwear market – a first in South Africa.”


“We decided that we needed to manufacture under licence, and contacted a French company who had expressed interest in the South African market. In 1990 we went to Lemaitre, in Strasbourg, and met with the MD and owner Jean-Michel, which culminated in a signed licensing agreement for Lemaitre safety footwear.”

“We positioned the brand as European styled, technologically advanced and comfortable; and went to market with the premise of ‘Why you deserve to wear a better safety boot’. It worked and the workforce started to demand the Lemaitre Maxeco.”

“In hindsight, we introduced the right product at the right time at the right price and managed to launch possibly the most successful selling safety shoe of all time in the South African market.” 


And hence the Lemaitre Maxeco ushered in the era of dual density safety footwear, and is still the most popular style of sole in the safety footwear industry today. That’s no small feat.


Lemaitre’s new campaign celebrates the widespread effect of 30 years and millions of pairs of Maxeco serving South Africans. It’s been there to help build the country and its people. It’s created jobs through local sourcing and manufacturing. It’s contributed to an inclusive economy for all our people. And it has been on the frontlines of the nation’s industries, protecting those who are strengthening South Africa. Has any boot done more to build our country?



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Lemaitre celebrates 30 years of Maxeco by asking the question – is this South Africa’s most beautiful shoe?