What Women Want: Safety in Style

WHAWOWA collection of safety shoes: Bata Industrials knows what women want

WHAWOWA means What Women Want. When it comes to safety shoes, Bata Industrials knows exactly what women want. And these are not men’s shoes. With a team of mostly women, Bata developed the WHAWOWA women’s collection. That wasn’t easy because the work shoe industry has traditionally focused on men.

Judith Sanders, Footwear Product Developer at Bata Industrials knows all about that. “Just like men, women also demand maximum safety from their work shoes. Of course. For Bata, that is always the essence: safety. We conducted very extensive research among working women, because we wanted to develop the very best safety shoe for them.

The research gave a lot of insight into women’s specific needs, such as comfort, fit, smaller sizes, very light weight, color, design and, above all, style. Women prefer good-looking, elegant shoes. Sometimes that is in small aesthetic details: stitching, hooks, laces. Feminine, according to the latest fashion trends. A shoe should match your outfit.

From my own experience at a previous employer, I saw that many women wore casual sneakers because they found the safety shoes provided far too clunky. These were men’s shoes, there was no other choice. Resulting in a dangerous situation. As an employer, that’s the last thing you want.’

Whawowa’s mission: comfortable work shoes for women

Emérence van Daalen, Marketing Director Bata Industrials, adds. “That is exactly why we started the WHAWOWA project 5 years ago from the management of Bata Industrials. I personally supported this project very strongly. It was more difficult than anticipated. We had no idea what to encounter in producing women’s work shoes in a men’s shoe industry. We really took the time to do that. That it worked out so wonderfully gives enormous satisfaction.”

A woman’s foot is not a man’s foot

Judith Sanders: “It starts with anatomy. A woman’s foot is not a man’s foot. We compared and analyzed them extensively. A woman’s foot is generally smaller and different in shape. The height and length of the foot arches also differ between men and women.

Therefore, we developed a last exclusively for the women’s foot for the WHAWOWA collection. The result is a women’s shoe that is narrower at the heel and has more room at the forefoot and toes. The advantage of optimally fitting work shoes is that they are more comfortable, more stable and you get far fewer injuries. They are softer, have a finer entry and more cushioning.’

Judith Sanders, Footwear Product Developer at Bata Industrials

Employers give women the right attention

Emérence van Daalen: “We did not compromise. For example, a special, less plump Safety Toecap had to be developed for the Whawowa collection. That is a product made and certified by a specialized company. They had never developed a women’s model before. So you go into a new journey together that takes a lot of time because we don’t make any concessions on safety. And that’s just one part of the women’s work shoe.

I can’t say it often enough, but a women’s work boot is not a small men’s work boot. That’s something employers need to be keenly aware of. Give women the proper attention; it benefits both safety and the work atmosphere. Put your money where your mouth is in your inclusive policies. You gain so much goodwill with it.”

The most advanced technologies applied

The Whawowa collection has a total of 7 models, including 2 new ones: Rosa and Jane. The work shoes are suitable for women working in light industry, such as assembly, automotive, food, transportation and logistics. The shoes are made with technological innovations, such as Bata’s own Easy Rolling System and Super Critical Foaming technology.

Added to the collection: Rosa and Jane

Two new models have been added to the Whawowa collection: Rosa and Jane. Both come in the color black with the distinctive salmon pink details under the sole for the feminine touch.

Bata Whawowa Rosa is an ESD, S1PS safety shoe, super lightweight with a perfect last for women. Rosa features a lightweight, breathable upper made of suede and black textile. This special textile is resistant to heavy loads and abrasive influences. Bata Whawowa Jane is a semi-high ESD, S3S safety shoe for ankle protection and extra support. The shoe is made of black full-grain leather and suede.

Both shoes have a super lightweight hi-elastic rebound EVA Midsole that provides extra comfort. A penetration-resistant FlexGuard® composite insert prevents sharp objects from entering the shoe from below. The rubber outsole provides the right balance of energy return, shock absorption and stability for an optimal working experience.

Check out the Rosa and Jane in more detail

A large part of our safety shoes are developed and produced in Best in Noord-Brabant. Our investments in robotics, Research & Development and advanced technologies are bearing fruit. Founded in the Czech Republic in 1894, Bata was one of the first manufacturers to sell its products all over the world.