Since the advent of the PVC Wellington Boot design, one shot shoe production has remained a footwear manufacturing dream, Jane Denny looks at the possibilities the future holds.
Crocs, Wellies and jellies – although not necessarily made using polyurethane – all fall under the same category and have emerged immensely successful types of footwear or brands. Such easy to produce, one-shot shoe design innovation could support the re-globalisation of shoe manufacturing.
SATRA’s head of communications, Jake Locke, said: “The simplicity of the moulded process gives the potential for low cost production depending on the tooling cost of the moulding machines and moulds.
“Moulding produces the footwear in a single step saving the need to join together, in a sequence of operations, component parts of different materials which must themselves be pre-formed. It provides a footwear item without joins or stitch holes, ideal for waterproof products.
“However, the footwear cannot breathe, unless it is a sandal, and will not break in (adapt to the wearer’s own foot) as fabricated shoes usually do.”
Despite what Locke regards as limitations, both BMS and Huntsman have formed partnerships with footwear experts to produce prototype PU shoes around the one shot process idea.
For the chemical manufacturers, the advantage of the process stems from the drastic reduction in material selection for shoes – its swaps the maximum 300 components for just one…