Love your feet

Ever wondered what goes into a comfy shoe?

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Leather

People have been wrapping their feet in leather for thousands of years. This is a case of ‘If it ain’t broke, why fix it?’ Leather is comfortable because it expands and adapts to the unique shape of your foot. It’s a durable material that is water resistant, and can be treated to become waterproof. Leather is breathable, allowing perspiration to escape through the fibrous structure of the natural material so that you don’t get blisters from sweaty feet trapped in a hot, damp shoe.
Flexibility through direct injection

Flexibility through direct injection

We take 7500 to 10,000 steps a day – or more! Our foot flexes with each step, so it makes sense that a comfortable shoe will bend more easily as part of the natural walking motion, while a rigid, inflexible shoe will cause fatigue and pain. Direct injection directly fuses the shoe upper to the sole while the sole is in a molten state, creating a flexible, waterproof, and durable construction.
Specialty lining materials like Gore-Tex®

Specialty lining materials like Gore-Tex®

The inside climate of a shoe can reach temperatures well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit and feet can perspire over one pint of liquid per day. This extreme climate needs to be tamed if the wearer is to be comfortable. Gore-Tex® is a man made material that takes the performance of a natural material like leather to a higher level. It’s a membrane that is laminated to a high performance lining that will not become less effective with repeated wearing, nor will it tear, break or melt. The Gore-Tex® membrane has 9 billion pores per square inch. Each pore is 20,000 times smaller than a water droplet, which means water and wind cannot get in from the outside. However, the pores are large enough to allow moisture vapour from perspiration to escape from inside – hence footwear lined with Gore-Tex® is waterproof, yet breathable and the wearer is warm and dry.

Specialty lining materials like Gore-Tex®

Anti-microbial treatments like the Aegis® Microbe Shield

Textiles and warm damp environments are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, and signs of microbial growth include odours, staining and deterioration. There are many anti-microbial treatments that block odour, but Aegis® Microbe Shield technology takes a different approach. The polymer spikes in the treatment rupture the cell walls of odour producing microbes and stop them in their tracks. Aegis® will not wear out or leech out, nor is it harmful to the environment.

Cushioning made of EVA

Cushioning made of EVA

Cushioning if one of the first things we think of when describing a comfort shoe. When walking, our feet absorb 1 ½ times our body weight with each step, and when running, it’s three times our body weight. Ethyl Vinyl Acetate or EVA is a lightweight foam material that has long been used to cushion comfort footwear. It has excellent shock absorbency and also moulds well.

Cushioned footbeds made of materials such as OrthoLite®

Cushioned footbeds made of materials such as OrthoLite®

These insoles are made with an open-cell polyurethane that retains 95% of its cushioning after the first year. The open-cell structure is also breathable, allowing moisture to evaporate and provides a more healthy environment for the foot. An environmentally friendly biocide is added for even more protection from microbes.

Midsoles made of polyurethane

Midsoles made of polyurethane

Polyurethane, or PU is a synthetic soling material made up of millions of tiny air bubbles derived from petroleum products. These bubbles enhance shock absorption and flexibility. PU can be very soft or very firm, depending on the end use as a midsole or outsole. It is highly durable and will not lose its shock absorbing properties over time.

Superb soling materials made of rubber

Superb soling materials made of rubber

Natural rubber is the original comfort sole material derived from rubber trees. Crepe is a raw type of rubber that is actually tacky to the touch, while latex rubber is a pure type of rubber with excellent traction, flexibility and shock absorption. It won’t get hard in very cold temperatures, providing traction and insulation for high performance winter boots. The softness can be regulated with vulcanization and by adding chemicals to the process. TPR or thermoplastic rubber is a mixture of rubber and plastic. It is harder than natural rubber and somewhat more slippery, but shares its flexibility and shock absorption characteristics.

Technically advanced soles by Vibram®

Technically advanced soles by Vibram®

Vibram soles were invented in 1936 by an Italian mountain climber who used the same techniques as Pirelli did on their tires, to apply rubber to his climbing boots, creating the first vulcanized rubber soles. Vibram® soles are extremely durable and provide excellent traction on wet or dry ground. The company is always striving to improve the rubber compounds that they use and tests them rigourously.

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