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Who We Are

nautilus safety shoes

Our Story

Portland, Oregon. 1996. Nautilus Safety Footwear was founded when a small group of designers and businessmen thought outside the box by taking a hugely popular basketball shoe and putting a steel toe in it. The premise – why should safety shoes be boots, heavy, and uncomfortable? They shouldn’t. Utilizing high-tech materials and designs created for the athletic shoe market, for the past twenty years, Nautilus Safety Footwear has provided today’s workforce with athletic work shoes that offer comfort and safety. Nautilus is the longest continuous manufacturer of athletic safety footwear on the market today.

In 2002, Skidbuster Footwear is acquired and re-designed for comfort. Nautilus designers utilize athletic footwear construction combined with slip-resistant outsole technology to provide comfort and safety to the hospitality industry.

Brand expansion continues and in 2006, Avenger Work Boots is created to bring the same comfort and safety standards to the traditional work boot market. Avenger blends traditional boot styling with high quality materials and advanced manufacturing systems to create a tough protective boot.

Today Footwear Specialties International's family of brands - Nautilus Safety Footwear, Avenger Work Boots, and Skidbuster Footwear - offer over 200 different styles to meet the increasingly technical demands of industrial workers and working environments. Our strength lies in our extensive variety of safety features, the latest technology, and wide-range of price points. Our team of dedicated professionals is continually seeking new materials, the most updated shoe technologies, and innovative manufacturing methods in order to provide the best products with unsurpassed safety performance.

From our headquarters in Portland, Oregon, the footwear capital of the United States, we are dedicated to crafting the most comfortable protective work shoes – whether athletic or traditional in design. The diversity of our footwear selections keeps all sectors of the work shoe market comfortable and protected.

Our Brands

Portland, OR. 1996. A small group of designers and businessmen think outside the box and create Nautilus Safety Footwear - the first athletic work shoe - by taking a hugely popular basketball shoe and putting in a steel toe. The premise – why should safety shoes be heavy and uncomfortable? They shouldn’t. Nautilus Safety Footwear proves the comfort and support of the athletic shoe industry can be successfully harnessed for the work arena. While Nautilus styles encompass a variety of safety functions, Nautilus is considered a leader in the SD market, with shoes that meet or exceed the highest testing requirements of workplaces today. All Nautilus styles feature high-tech components and one of the largest selections of athletic safety toe footwear to meet job requirements for the workers who wear them.

Portland, OR. 2006. The team behind Nautilus Safety Footwear fills a need in the traditional work boot market with lightweight, comfortable, high-quality work boots and Avenger Work Boots is born. Advanced manufacturing techniques combine with traditional styling and quality materials to meet the toughest safety standards in the industry today.
Avenger Work Boots, saving the world two feet at a time.

From our headquarters in Portland, Oregon, we are dedicated to crafting the most comfortable work shoes for all sectors of the workforce. Our wide assortment of over 200 different styles is designed to keep all workers comfortable and protected.

Portland, OR. 2002. Skidbuster Footwear purchased and re-designed for comfort by the makers of Nautilus Safety Footwear. Hospitality, cafeteria, and restaurant workers deserve a break today and Skidbuster delivers with footwear that incorporates stylish designs with super slip-resistance and great values.

Technical Features

avenger safety boot technical features


Steel Safety Toe Cap. Our steel safety toe cap styles provide maximum toe room for comfort and the ultimate in protection for safety. Our structured steel cap is capable of withstanding over 2,500 lbs. of compression and 75 lbs. of impact as detailed below in the Impact/Compression Standards section. All of our safety toe styles meet or exceed ASTM 2413-11 I/75 C/75 impact and compression specifications

Composite Safety Toe Cap. Our composite safety toe cap features a high-tech molded polymer cap with a weight that is one-third less than a traditional steel toe cap. These protective shells are made of non-conductive material which does not transmit heat or cold and does not activate metal detectors. They are non-magnetic and static free. Our unique design dissipates impact and meets or exceeds ASTM 2413-11 I/75 c/75 impact and compression specifications

Carbon Nanofiber Safety Toe Cap. Innovative Carbon Nanofiber material makes these safety toes the lightest and most advanced safety toe available today. The weight of these toes is 50% less than a traditional steel safety toe cap and 40% less than a standard composite toe cap. These toes will not conduct heat or cold, will not activate metal detectors, are non-magnetic, and static free. All Carbon Nanofiber Safety Toe styles meet or exceed all ASTM 2413-11 I/75 C/75 impact and compression specifications.


Impact/Compression Specifications – ASTM 2413-11. All of Nautilus Safety Footwear and Avenger Work Boots products exceed all testing requirements for protective footwear impact and compression resistance. Protective footwear must pass two tests for impact and compression established by American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). Under the Class 75 test for impact, footwear must withstand a 75 lb. impact with 12.7 mm (0.50 in.) clearance for men’s and 11.9 mm (0.468 in.) for women’s. Under the Class 75 test for compression, footwear must withstand 2,500 lbs. of compression while maintaining at least 12.7 mm (0.50 in.) for men’s and 11.9 mm (0.468 in.) for women’s.

SD Static Dissipative Footwear. Our distinctive design and construction meets as SD requirements for static-dissipative footwear. To be marketed as static-dissipative, footwear must pass testing requirements established by ASTM. Shoes must offer electrical resistance of greater than 1, but less than 100 megohms. All our SD footwear meet ASTM 2413-11 Section 5.6 and ASTM 2892-11 Section 5.3 specifications.

Please note: Replacing the original insole with insoles other than Nautilus Safety Footwear’s Anti-Fatigue Static-Dissipating Replacement Insoles could adversely affect or invalidate the SD properties of the footwear.

EH Electrical Hazard Footwear. Electrical hazard footwear is designed to protect the wearer from open electrical circuits of 18,000 volts at 60 Hz for 1 minute with no current flow or current leakage in excess of 3.0 milliamperes under dry conditions. These shoes are secondary protection on surfaces that are substantially insulated. All our EH footwear meet ASTM 2413-11 Section 5.5 and ASTM F2892-11 Section 5.2 specifications. 

CAUTION: EH Footwear should not be worn in explosive or hazardous areas where conductive footwear is required. 
CAUTION: EH Footwear should be worn in dry environments only. Exposure to a wet or humid environment will adversely affect or invalidate the protective properties of all EH footwear.

No Exposed Metal. Our “No Exposed Metal” footwear is designed so no exposed component of the footwear will scratch or mark any working surface, offering less risk of damage to them. Utilizing slip-on styles or self-eyelets of leather, nylon, or plastic, this footwear offers great design, safety toe protection and peace-of-mind for employers.

Metatarsal Guard. Our Metatarsal Guard footwear styles offer maximum flexibility, comfort, and durability. Our light-duty Metatarsal Guard line offers both internal protection and an external hinges construction; with both styles designed to offer the ultimate in protection and wearability. Our heavier-duty internal Metatarsal Guard line provides more substantial protection including high heat outsole protection to 600° F. All out Metatarsal Guard footwear meet or exceed ASTM 2413-11 Section 5.3 specifications.

Puncture Resistant. Puncture resistant footwear contains a midsole plate which is designed to reduce the hazards of puncture wounds caused by sharp objects penetrating the outsole. Our puncture resistant footwear feature a Lenzi® brand puncture resistant plate. The flexible Lenzi® fabric allows full sole coverage, as well as greater movement and dexterity, resulting in a more flexible fit which allows you to work safer, longer, and more comfortably.

Slip Resistance. Our slip-resistant soles have tread designs which channel water, oil, and other slippery substances from the outsole’s lugs to create a superior grip. While there are no government regulations currently creating slip-resistant standards, according to an independent testing laboratory, a surface that produces a minimum dry or wet slip resistance value of 0.5 is classified as slip-resistant and U.S. Footwear sources often quote a value of 0.25 as a good safety margin for soilings tested on contaminated surfaces such as oil, greasy, oily/et, etc. All our slip-resistant footwear meets or exceeds current industry recognized guidelines.

Insulated Footwear. Our insulated footwear help keep your feet warm and comfortable as well as offering safety toe protection, no matter what the weather or working conditions. Our insulated construction features Thinsulate™ Ultra brand insulation in varying 200 gram layers (from 200 to 600 grams total) to trap warm air between the layers, keeping your feet warm all day long. In cold, outdoor working conditions or in a refrigerated warehouse environment, our Avenger Work Boots insulated footwear are durable enough to stand up to the challenge of protecting your feet while being comfortable, and ware, to wear.

Vegan Friendly. Thanks to new technologies, leather is no longer the only choice available for safety footwear! Nautilus Safety Footwear utilizes a variety of non-leather options in nylon, mesh, and synthetic and microfiber leathers that offer the same “breathe-ability” and look of leather to provide stylish options combined with the comfort you’ve come to expect from our brands. Out 100% man-made styles create a workable alternative for vegans who are required to wear safety shoes as well as for non-vegans who are looking to make an environmental difference.

Width Conversion Chart

Medium               =       D width
Medium-Wide      =       E width
Wide                   =       EE width
XXWide               =       EEEE width

Medium               =       B width
Medium-Wide      =       C width
Wide                   =       D width

For Retailers

nautilus safety footwear in a warehouse
If you are a retailer who is interested in carrying Avenger Work Boots, Nautilus Safety Footwear or Skidbuster Footwear in your store (brick-and-mortar or online), please contact us at:


TEL: 888.269.4526