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Work It: SureWerx Adds Safety Footwear Brand, Brunt Nabs $20 Million

The industrial footwear and workwear space is seeing increased product and brand expansion, as well as financial investments.


SureWerx, a manufacturer of safety, tool and equipment products, announced it has acquired Footwear Specialties International (FSI).

Based in Portland, Ore., FSI is a safety footwear company with solutions marketed primarily under the Avenger Work Boots and Nautilus Safety Footwear brands.

“Adding Avenger Work Boots and Nautilus Safety Footwear to our growing, world-class portfolio of SureWerx brands moves us further toward our goal of becoming the global leader in safety and productivity,” SureWerx CEO Chris Baby said. “Whether you work in a warehouse, a manufacturing plant, on a construction site, or in the service and utilities sectors, FSI has a proven, solution-based product that not only protects you from injury but also improves your quality of life.”

FSI president Aaron Atkinson said joining SureWerx will enable the company to accelerate growth in existing channels, while expanding its reach into the extensive SureWerx distributor network. SureWerx offers access to its brands through its partner distributor network servicing the industrial, construction, safety, automotive aftermarket, healthcare, and food production markets globally.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Brunt Workwear

Brunt Workwear, a work boot and apparel brand designed for construction workers and tradespeople, recently closed a $20 million Series B round to accelerate growth and meet demand 17 months after the company’s launch.

The latest round is led by Stripes, a growth equity firm that invests in consumer businesses around the world, including On Running, Reformation, Erewhon and Califia Farms. Returning investors include TF Cornerstone, Suffolk Technologies and Bolt.

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Brunt’s missions is to serve the more than 17 million workers in the construction, installation, maintenance and repair industries in the U.S. The additional funding will allow Brunt to increase inventory, grow the team, invest in additional product development to ensure cutting-edge comfort technology and expand retail channels beyond the already successful digital storefront.

“I launched Brunt to give the true boots-on-the-ground workforce the innovation and attention they deserve when it comes to the tools they wear to do their job every day,” said Eric Girouard, founder and CEO. “We are so grateful to have new partners like Stripes, and returning partners such as TF Cornerstone and Suffolk Technologies, believe in our cause and in the opportunity to serve this inspiring, yet too often ignored community of tradespeople and construction workers. Despite our success to date, we’ve only scratched the surface. With this new investment, we hope to scale our team and bring even more high-performance products at an exceptional value to millions of workers.”

In 2021, six months after launch, Brunt added clothing and accessories to its assortment to complement its collection of value-driven, high-quality work boots.

“Over the last 10 years, brands like On Running and Nike have launched dozens of new performance running shoes rich with new features that drive comfort and performance, while construction and trade workers are still stuck with the same legacy shoe styles,” said Chris Carey, partner at Stripes. “It’s no surprise that Brunt has seen incredible early adoption and consumer love. Their direct-to-consumer model…has enabled Brunt to deliver shoes and apparel with superior comfort, performance and value.”