Meet Nick Comiskey, President of Oxford Steels. Our social media followers may have seen him once or twice on our Facebookand Instagram pages. Nick is originally from Central New Jersey and a graduate of University of North Carolina at Charlotte. An entrepreneurial minded engineer, Nick started Oxford Steels after finding that steel toe safety shoes on the market didn't meet his needs. Since starting Oxford Steels, Nick has been able to help safety shoe wearers across the United States find a safety shoe that doesn't compromise on style.
Let's get it out of the way: which Oxford Steel is your favorite?
For a long time I loved the Pilot model. I actually got married in a pair of Honey colored Pilots! However, I had to change my opinion once we came out with the Becks. The comfort, slip-resistance and ease of slipping them makes them my go-to style now.
What's the most popular style currently available?
The top four products are very close and tend to swap around in popularity. Currently, the most popular style is the Volta with the Wallace boots close behind. We are also seeing a lot of interest in our Superior Leather Belt and Superior Leather Wallet accessories. Many customers love that they can get a belt and wallet from the same leather as their shoes.
How did you get involved with safety steel toe shoes?
I was working as a Production Manager in a manufacturing plant and struggled to find great footwear options. In my position, I had the responsibility of the shop floor but also attending meetings with company and customer executives. I found shoe options that met safety standards and fit my formal work attire, but they were very low quality.
A college friend of mine met the Proxon Safety Shoe team while working in Mexico. Together, we found the team at Proxon was working with genuine leather and producing high quality safety footwear. That hatched an idea - Oxford Steels. We decided to form a company and work with the Proxon team to develop products and distribute formal safety shoes in the USA. My friend has since moved on to other projects, but I have continued to work with Proxon to bring more options to the work force here in the USA.
Anyone can wear any shoe. What makes Oxford Steels different?
We currently have the styles split up between Men and Women. Some of the styles, such as the Elise, could really be considered Unisex. Customers have figured out which size they would be in the opposite sex's style and found a size that fit them properly. Our sleek formal shape does create some issues for people with a wider foot. Many customers find success up-sizing a half size but we still do have customers who, unfortunately, do not find a good fit.
Are more women's styles coming soon?
Oxford Steels is working to expand the Women's selection. We originally only had options for Men but, honestly, women have very few attractive options out there for Safety Footwear. Our first launch for women was the Elise which has been very well received. When looking for the next model, we found that many women were actually ordering the Wallace boot. Our team decided to create the Icon so that women had a slip-on safety boot option.
What does the future hold for Oxford Steels?
We are continuing to expand our shoe selection while looking into what new product groups would support our customer needs. Next release is the Grand model which a slip resistant Monk styled safety shoe for men! With the addition of the Grand, we think we have built a pretty good selection for men. Since we currently only offer the Elise and Icon for Women, we are working together with Proxon to add a few more options for Women.