Handmade & unique
- Hai boot was designed in 1968
- Since it was initially designed for sailing, the outsole is natural rubber color so it does not leave marks on the sail boat deck
- The name Hai originates from a sail boat class called Hai
- In Finnish Hai means "a shark"
- Every Hai boot is hand made, it consists of 23 pieces!
Fun facts about Hai boot and the making... or should we say baking
Manufacturing Hai boots is like baking a ginger bread house
First you make the dough
in this case you use the finest natural rubber and other raw materials. Then you mix the dough (rubber compound) until it is even and ready for “baking”. Then you roll like you would with ginger breads but with a sligthly bigger roller, and the rollers are heated so that the rolling makes the dough just correct. After rolling, you sprinkle flour (talc) between the ready rolled sheets so that they do not stick together.
Then you take the molds and start cutting the pieces
All the pieces have their own moulds. After you have cut the pieces you can start building your house/boot!
Instead of using a baking tray an aluminium last is used as a base for the boot in order to reach the wanted 3D shape. All the 23 pieces are hand placed on the last by workers on the production line. As glue, surprisingly, melted sugar is not an option! Instead we use rubber glue that makes sure that seams are waterproof and unbreakable.
The work is combination of mad skills and precision. After all you do not want your “ginger bread house" to be crooked!
As a result of a human touch all the boots are unique and slight differences might occur but this is what makes rubber boots more than just boots! Before baking you can decide what kind of sugar coating you want on your house, with boots it means what is the preferrable finishing for the boot in question and with Hai a shiny lacquer is the way to go!
Then comes the baking...
Again a slighly bigger oven than the one you might find in a regular kitchen is preheated for accurate temperature. The oven has to fit aprox. 100 pairs of boots at a time. When baking the boots; the time, heat and pressure are the most important factors in order to achieve the best possible outcome. Before packing the perfect product is carefully evaluated and water tested.
So there you go making Hai boots is almost like baking!