Guide: How to Sell Samelin Boots?

Welcome to our brand-new series where we demystify the Hertwill portfolio, giving store owners the inside scoop on which brands to feature and how to sell ’em. First up: Samelin.

What’s the Story with Samelin?

Located in Estonia, Europe, Samelin has been in the shoe game for over 75 years. Their partners have included RossignolDr. MartensSan Marco. Moreover, boots manufactured by Samelin are trusted by different NATO armies, including Norweigan, Latvian and Estonian. What makes Samelin stand out? They offer affordably priced, reliable options in street, military and hiking boots. Plus, Samelin has NATO AQAP 2110 and ISO 9001 certificates. So you know you’re getting quality.

Top 3 Products of Samelin

  • Norwegian M77 Combat Boots. Cult favorites & legendary military boots that are also mentioned on the Wiki page of combat boots. Made from ultra-durable, full-grain leather, these boots have a gritty, no-nonsense vibe that’s winning on both the battlefield and city streets. Plus, they’re a top seller on Hertwill, so you know they’ve got pull. In some markets, there is even some search traffic for keywords like “m77 boots” and “Norwegian combat boots”.
  • Hawk Pilot Boots. Whether you go zippered or zipper-free, these boots are a hit. I’ve rocked the zippered pair myself for years, and they’re still solid (I am also a proud owner of their 550 hiking boots, which I might even like more).
  • Aviator Boots. The black color sells the best, followed by brown and red. They have a great wholesale price, which is expressed by an average markup of 75% and an average gross margin of 42%. Even Annamari, one of our founders, sports the black Aviators as her go-to boots.

Why Add Samelin to Your Store’s Lineup?

  • Top Seller: Samelin consistently ranks in the top 3 bestselling brands on Hertwill, month after month. The stores that are crushing it? They’ve got Samelin on their shelves.
  • Healthy Margins & Markups: Samelin wholesale prices have room for margin. The bestsellers, M77 boots, for instance, wholesale at 65.56€+VAT. Finnish retailer Varusteleka sells them for a cool 112.90€+VAT. But some go even higher—like Outnorth, who prices them at 205.90€+VAT. Similar story with the Aviator boots, wholesaling at 57.78€+VAT, Varusteleka is selling them under their own Särma brand for 137.09€+VAT. The average markup of Samelin shoes is between 50% and 90% and depends on the models and store selling them. In short, selling Samelin offers you the flexibility to set competitive prices while still enjoying healthy profit margins.
  • Profit Potential: The top store banking on Samelin is pulling in more than 200,000€ in sales per year. Just from Samelin. And more than 30 000€ from just M77 boots.
  • Limited Competition: Sure, Samelin’s popular with our partner stores, but they’re not exactly a household name. This means you won’t be wrestling with big e-commerce giants for customer attention. The catch? You’ll need to put in some effort to introduce Samelin to new customers.
  • Superfans & Word-of-Mouth: As Samelin are somewhat hidden gem and their shoes have great quality, especially at that price point, we have seen some superfans pop up for some stores. For example, there is a Dutch who has ordered 5 pairs of Samelin shoes in about 6 months and one Estonian musician who has bought 6 pairs of Samelin shoes in 18 months. From a customer’s perspective: with established brands like Dr. Martens or Nike, there is no social value to telling anyone about them as everyone’s got ’em. But with Samelin? You can be the one who discovered them first.

Why You Shouldn’t Add Samelin to Your Store’s Lineup?

Here are some reasons why Samelin might not be the right fit for your store.

  • Wrong Category: If your store is all about home decor or kiddo toys, Samelin’s adult footwear is gonna stick out like a sore thumb.
  • Return Rates: Even though Samelin has a below-average return rate of around 10%, returns can still be a pain. For context, according to some, the median return rate for shoes is 19% or even 24%. Most returns are due to size exchanges for smaller sizes, but ultimately, a return is still a return. Good news? Hertwill supports returns so you are not on your own.
  • Stock Issues: While we’d love to say it’s rainbows and unicorns, sometimes specific models or colors go out of stock. Just something to keep in mind.

So, weigh the pros and cons. If these drawbacks are deal-breakers, maybe Samelin’s not the brand for you. Otherwise, the upside is pretty sweet.

How to Tell Samelin’s Story for Better Sales?

The great news is that crafting an engaging story with Samelin products is relatively straightforward, but remember, even if you have the best products and run top-notch ads, your efforts won’t translate into sales if your store’s quality is lacking. Whether your focus is on Facebook, Google or TikTok, here are some storytelling strategies that we’ve found effective:

  • European Craftsmanship: Highlight that all Samelin shoes are proudly crafted in Europe. Unlike most shoes from other retailers, which are either not made in Europe or come with a significantly higher price tag.
  • NATO-Approved: All Samelin combat boots (M77, Hawk Pilot boots, Desert boots, 739 boots) are manufactured according to NATO standards. All Samelin shoes are manufactured according to ISO 9001 standards.
  • High-Profile Partners: Samelin’s former partnerships include Rossignol and Dr. Martens. Dropping these names helps to show that Samelin has been in good company and helps with their trustworthiness. In our test store in Estonia, we also added links to the same product on Varusteleka’s website to demonstrate that Varusteleka sells the same product but at a much higher price.
  • Military-Grade: If Samelin boots are trusted by NATO troops, they’re more than suitable for everyday individuals in need of reliable footwear. The Norwegian, Latvian, and Estonian armies have used or are currently using boots manufactured by Samelin.
  • Built to Last: Cut through the fluff. Samelin boots are durable, no-nonsense, and made in Europe. “Real boots” nails the sentiment. If you prefer some well-known fancy fashion brands that have a huge PR budget, Samelin boots are not for you. But if you prefer reasonably priced durable boots made here in Europe, they are for you.
  • Worry-Free Warranty: All boots come with a 2-year warranty, and we handle that at Hertwill.
  • Decades of Experience: 75 years in the boot biz says a lot. Flaunt it.
  • Affordable Premium: Quality and affordability aren’t mutually exclusive. Samelin proves it. Make sure your customers know it.
  • User Reviews: There are some reviews from real users in Hertwill that you can freely use, but whenever you sell a pair, you should reach out to the customer and ask for a review. You probably don’t need more convincing, but according to Nosto user-generated content packs an 8.7x stronger punch than influencer posts and is 6.6x more persuasive than branded content. And 79 percent of people say that the user-generated content highly impacts their purchasing decisions.
  • Model Shots & UGC: Beyond basic product images, we hook you up with high-quality photos featuring models & user-generated content. Gives your marketing that extra oomph. You can see some of the shots here. We highly recommend ordering a pair of Samelin boots for yourself. Not only are they exceptional in quality, but they also provide you with the opportunity to create your own unique content featuring them.

Stories sell, and Samelin’s got a compelling one. Don’t sell them just as another pair of boots.


We’ve found that regular product pictures often perform better than those with models. However, videos and user-generated content yield the best results. These videos don’t require top-level production; a short video created from pictures showcasing the boots from various angles works well. Alternatively, consider using a photo of the boots with added motion effects to display a review or highlight their features. But test everything: what worked for others might not work for you and vice versa.

All being said, we’ve compiled a variety of pictures and videos ideal for social media and advertising. You can access them here.

Please Be Creative

Running an online store should be enjoyable. Whether you’re creating ads, crafting copy, or organizing a photoshoot, embrace the fun in each step. Remember, enjoyable activities are inherently more fun. In a market flooded with stores and content, standing out requires creativity to catch a potential customer’s attention. Below are some examples to inspire you, ranging from genuinely fun to so-bad-they’re-good.

If you’re a bookworm like me, here are a few famous opening lines, with a slight twist

  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way, especially without Samelins.”
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville: “Call me Samelin.”
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of Samelin.”

And some famous movie quotes

  • “May the boots be with you.” – from “Star Wars”
  • “You can’t handle the boots!” – from “A Few Good Men”
  • “I’ll be boots.” – from “The Terminator”
  • “I feel the need – the need for boots!” – from “Top Gun”
  • “Keep your friends close, but your boots closer.” – from “The Godfather Part II”
  • “Houston, we have a boot.” – from “Apollo 13”
  • “You had me at ‘boots’.” – from “Jerry Maguire”
  • “I’m king of the boots!” – from “Titanic”
  • “Why so bootserious?” – from “The Dark Knight”
  • “Go ahead, make my boots.” – from “Dirty Harry”

Is Samelin Right for Your Store?

So you’re sold on Samelin. Great! But is your store the right place for these boots? If you fall into any of these categories, it’s a definite YES.

  • Shoe stores – No brainer fit.
  • Military stores – Given Samelin’s NATO credibility, you can’t go wrong.
  • Outdoors & hiking stores
  • Design stores – Look into the M77. Its design is iconic and hasn’t changed for 50+ years. Also, some Samelin designs are already design store favorites (e.g. this and this).
  • Apparel and bag stores that want to expand to new product categories

Want to start selling Samelin shoes in your online store? Read here how to start in less than 5 minutes.

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