In 1962 Highmark Shoes was established by Bill Allender, who spent the previous 40 years gaining valuable experience in footwear design, development, manufacturing and management.

In 1962 Bill began manufacturing boots in his garage at the rear of his Preston home.

Bill’s Son, Russell, soon followed the family tradition and became an apprentice to his father.

That same year, due to increased production, Highmark Shoes began renting premises in Plenty Rd, Preston.


By 1972, Russell had taken over the helm and was producing a small range of safety boots to the Australian Standard AS/NZ 2210-2 along with ankle boots for industry and the Department of Defence.


In October 1996 The Company moved to a factory in Swanston Street Preston to bigger premises which enabled a much more efficient operation.





DDR® (dual density rubber) 

Highmark Shoes (Taipan ®) became the first company in the world to install a Main Group machine that could produce the revolutionary DDR® (dual density rubber) moulded soles. Highmark Shoes (Taipan ®) produced a range of footwear under the Taipan ® label, including combat style footwear, safety and non-safety footwear, work boots, Emergency Service and smelter boots, patent leather ankle boots and shoes.





Over the next 13 years, Taipan® became an exporter of footwear and held supply contracts with various entities including the ADF, various Police, Fire and Emergency Agencies. Russell Allender sold the company in 2006 and retired.  Taipan continued for approx. 5 years, and the owners at that time ceased trading in July 2011. There was a period of inactivity of approx. 6months before the company restarted by the current owners.



In 2012, Taipan Footwear was purchased and re-established by Skyrange Footwear Pty Ltd, a partnership of both dedicated and experienced Australian Manufacturing and International Footwear Manufacturing, both of whom have a long history of successful quality and manufacturing expertise. This partnership, comprising: Kelvin Ryan, Lawrence Ryan, Wennywaty Halim, Marissa Salim, took effect on February 25, 2012 and production commenced on March 5, 2012.

First orders were received on March 7, 2012 and were quickly despatched.

Key personnel and suppliers of raw materials and other essential items had re-joined Taipan ® and have helped resurrect an Australian Footwear Manufacturer

As a result, the genuine Dual Density Rubber (DDR ®), Taipan’s made in Melbourne, are back and better than ever.






  • Telephone:0394800199
  • Fax:0394840677
  • Email:enquiry@taipanfootwear.com
  • Address:40-42 SWANSTON STREET, PRESTON, VIC 3072