Site visit: Haix

Discussion in 'Military Clothing & Boots' started by MrBane, Sep 11, 2017.

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  1. MrBane

    MrBane LE Moderator Reviewer Reviews Editor

    It's 0600hrs and I'm onboard a KLM flight about to set off for Croatia, having been invited to visit the Haix production HQ based in the village of Mala Subotica which has a population of 5452 and covers 13 square miles.

    The trip is via Amsterdam, so the plane is full of stoners, but I'll put up with that lingering smell of hash and lack of personal hygiene for another trip to the beautiful and ancient land of Croatia.

    A country maybe familiar to many of you for all the wrong reasons, Croatia is a low crime, friendly and safe country, provided you don't go wandering off the beaten path where you're likely to find yourself in one of the many minefields that the country is still trying to rid itself of.

    The itinerary involves a tour of the facilities that cover 12,000 square metres and which can manufacture up to 10,000 pairs of boots each day, and I'll aim to get a number of videos of the processes involved in making a Haix boot, as well as take the opportunity to ask questions, demand answers and find out more about Haix as a company and a family.

    All this will build up to the final product of another one of my 'A Closer Look At' articles, which in the past have seen companies such as 5.11 Tactical, Magnum, etc profiled in depth like never before.

    If you have any sensible questions you'd like me to ask, specifically about Haix (yeah, I don't know why the sky is blue, you scamps) please stick them up here and I'll consider them for sanity and appropriateness.

    I'll also try to update this sporadically throughout the visit with pictures, etc.

    Although we've just been told Amsterdam airport has gone to hell in a handbasket with this global bought of crap weather were having, and we're going to be sat for at least an hour on the ground in the UK so.... Maybe it'll instead be an article on KLM inflight entertainment and staff! I think one of the stoners is starting to have withdrawal symptoms now.....



    0933hrs, safe touch down in Amsterdam with a forty minute delay, which led one young couple to burst into tears as they'd missed their connection to America.

    As I bathed in their salty tears, for once not being in the end of a shitty transfer fubar, I realised I had time to burn in Amsterdam.

    Unfortunately, as I'm not going to chance my arm through security again due to the amount of high powered batteries I'd managed to get through security in the UK for my camera gear, I'm left instead gazing longingly at the flashing red lights on the horizon where I know many of you have trod in the past.

    My expectations of people openly selling and taking drugs in front of me is so far to be realised. Perhaps Amsterdam isn't quite the open drug haven it's reputation makes it out to be. Another childhood preconception bust. Much like the time at 26 years old I discovered Fort William wasn't actually a wooden pallisade fort....

    Connection at 1130hrs to Zagreb.

    Update: I've left my mark on the airport anyway, as I've just leaned against a wall on the concourse only to find out it was flimsy ply boarding off some building works, the signs for which I ignored, and fell straight through it. The Emperor Mong appears to have bought a ticket to come with me on this trip.


    With a hop, skip and jump, I find myself on Croatian Airlines prepping for takeoff. This one has more legroom than the KLM flight, and the flight attendants or trolley dollies don't look like veterans of the Somme.

    I also expect to die of plague because everyone I've sat next to has been sniffling like a pig hunting for truffles. The pathogens are rife and people are dropping left and right around me. I'll soldier on though, all I need is a pub to minister an antidote of local gutrot.

    Oh, and top tip, if you're ever in Amsterdam airport, don't buy any food. It's shit.

    Next stop, Zagreb.

    Last edited: Sep 11, 2017
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  2. napier

    napier LE Moderator Reviewer

    The sunlit sky is blue because air scatters short-wavelength light more than longer wavelengths. Since blue light is at the short-wavelength end of the visible spectrum, it is more strongly scattered in the atmosphere than long-wavelength red light. The result is that when looking toward parts of the sky other than the sun, human eye perceives them to be blue (wiki is your friend)
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  3. You could always ask them why won't they stick to the NATO sizing (ie foot length and width in millimeters, like they do in Bundeswehr boots they manufacture) alongside "normal" sizing for all their boots - that would be much more convenient for everyone. Also, you could ask them if they are planning to put, on their website, info about all the boots they make- including the ones made for police/military and unavailable through normal channels for civvies- for information purpose
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  4. MrBane

    MrBane LE Moderator Reviewer Reviews Editor

    I'll dig into this ref the metric. NATO sizes follow the Mondopoint measuring system which gives the width, which I agree is a very useful marker for which size to go for. Though I may be mistaken, but I think it's only really relevant if they make variations of width? Very few public sale firms offer different widths, so maybe just needs the standard width advertised?

    Also, can you link to a sales page for their Bunds boots showing the measurements please.

    As for the info on all boots,at a guess I'd say no as many companies keep their specs under wraps or the actual tender under wraps. I'll ask though, and it's something that I'd look to get in the end articles.

    Good questions. Keep them coming.
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  5. Is the boot factory wheelchair accessible? :-D
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  6. **** me just get on with the factory visit report, don't need to know you had cornflakes for breakfast

    Ask them if they do proper mega wide hobbit sizes in safety boots I've only found one manufacturer whose boots fit me properly and they are in Australia
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  7. Don't do a Raver, noshing off anyone that is likely attracting lesbian vampires
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  8. MrBane

    MrBane LE Moderator Reviewer Reviews Editor

    I didnt, it was Cheerios actually, smartarse.

    The site visit lasted around four hours, and I was frankly amazed at the processes involved. Looking at the Black Eagle Tactical 2.0 GTX, from a sheet of top grain leather on the table to finished product, there are over 20 people who will put hands on that boot, from stitching, leather working, moulding, glueing, working with the GORE-TEX and more.

    The site itself is incredibly busy, being the main production hub for Haix, and employs almost exclusively from the local villages, having been responsible for a drop in unemployment from 60% down to 6 or 7%.

    Everything is done in house, and the company follows and incredibly advanced and ethical employment plan, with the workers being very well looked after, with bonuses based on production levels of up to 30% of their monthly salary

    In terms of the boots themselves.... Well, you'll just need to wait until the 'A Closer Look At Haix's is released in a few weeks. :D

    Play nice though, because I'm currently in talks to have a prize giveaway of a trip to the factory for a site visit and a pair of boots at the end.....;)

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  9. Perchance you misunderstood Boots on the ground ;):)
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  10. Sixty

    Sixty LE Moderator Book Reviewer
    1. ARRSE Cyclists and Triathletes

    Sod all that. How many pairs of boots did you manage to blag?
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  11. MrBane

    MrBane LE Moderator Reviewer Reviews Editor

    Don't know what you're talking about....:oops:

    Surely to **** a trip to Croatia and boots is enough for you?? If you win, of course.......... Non sequential serials again please mate.
  12. Bad CO

    Bad CO LE Admin Reviews Editor Gallery Guru

    Did you present them with a memento from ARRSE - perhaps a copy of the RSM of the Army's Challenge Coin?
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  13. Where's my free holiday?
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  14. MrBane

    MrBane LE Moderator Reviewer Reviews Editor

    You mean those handy gift-for-every-occasion coins, beautifully stamped with the ARRSE logo? I certainly did. Presented in good order in thanks for his hospitality. Unfortunately for Persec reasons, there are no pictures of this historic handover. Mainly because we were in the best restaurant in Croatia and the local grog is quite strong, so there may have been some slurring and bezzering and an introduction to the drinking rules that apply with said presentation.
  15. Bad CO

    Bad CO LE Admin Reviews Editor Gallery Guru

    Did you challenge him to a game of spoons?
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