Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Shoe Material

A broad spectrum of materials and material combinations are used today in shoe manufacturing. Leathers, synthetics, rubber and textile materials are counted among the basic upper materials. Each material has its own specific character and they differ not only in their appearance but also in their physical properties, their service life and treatment needs. The choice of shoe material significantly influences the life of the footwear, and in many cases dictates its use

PVC, PU, rubber, leatherette and polymeric materials all have a similar look as leather but the characteristics of breathing, absorption, and flexibility do not measure up to the qualities of natural leather.

New upper materials in PVC and PU combined with comfortable linings do offer a few advantages however: namely affordable low prices; and a multitude of colour choices, shapes and designs- especially in young fashion.

Polymeric synthetic leathers are synthetic hides, which mimic natural hides in both appearance and physical characteristics. When compared to natural leather, synthetic hides are much easier to care for.

Rubber based uppers are used for special safety work boots. Textiles both natural or synthetic combined with rubber materials are used extensively in safety and casual footwear.

Waterproof membrane is a special material which provides water resistance and breathability to footwear (for example Gore-Tex); It is a major element in hiking and sport footwear.


Leather is the most used natural material, and presents ideal characteristics for footwear. Leather breathes, it is soft, offers very good absorption ability; and is able to adjust to the individual shape of foot. We recognize several basic types of leather.

Upper material

Leather The best upper material; natural, breathable and flexible; Having better strechabilty and adjusts to feet easily. Textile Characterized by a wide colour selection and lightness; used mainly for casual footwear. Synthetic Used for a wide spectrum of shades, easy to care for, suitable for rainy weather.

Lining material

Leather Hygienic, comfortable and flexible. Textile Suitable for winter footwear because of its good thermal insulation qualities. Synthetic Easily cared for, easily put on; limited airflow which can cause higher perspiration.

Sole material

Leather Has an elegant look, is light; solely designed for interiors; scrapes off easily; not suitable for wet conditions. PVC widely used as sole in various kinds of footwear mainly due to price benefit. It has moderate flexibility and abrasion.

Rubber has very good anti skid property and resistance to wear. Widely used for safety and sport footwear.
Synthetic Flexible, easy to care for; average resistance to wear; average thermo insulation qualities; slips in difficult terrain; not overly flexible.

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