What makes our shoes comfortable, whether sneakers or traditional models? There are many elements that contribute to making our feet feel good as we walk, but in recent years foams, materials that are innovative in some respects, are playing a leading role in the game for comfort. Their lightness and at the same time their ability to cushion the walk and pad the volumes of a model, where desired, make foams an almost obligatory choice.
We hear from Luca Lombardi of Kiefer Von Zoe, a leading designer and manufacturer of performance materials for the fashion and design sectors and one that places sustainability as a crucial challenge at the core of its values.
HOW AND WHEN FOAMS ARE USED
Regarding comfort, foams can be used inside footwear in different ways: only in the sole, applied to the insole exclusively where the palm and toes rest; or over the entire length of the insole going to improve comfort over the entire arch of the foot; finally, so-called cleaning insoles can be made that do not affect the insole, remain separate and are usually removable.
When, on the other hand, foams are chosen to increase the volume of a part of the shoe, the most involved components are usually the upper, or, very often, padded collars and tongues. This is a type of application that is undoubtedly favored by the sneaker world, but it often goes with shoes of traditional taste as well.
IS THERE INNOVATION EVEN IN FOAMS?
The answer is yes. Even in the world of foams, seemingly simple and little subject to revolutionary breakthroughs, there can be innovation. Kiefer Von Zoe demonstrates just that with its Hevea and BRL proposals.
BRL is a multi-layer, two-component foam made from synthetic latex and natural latex. Due to its ability to conform to the foot and its excellent shape memory, it gets the feeling of wearing a customized shoe every time.
Hevea, on the other hand, can be used for both comfort and volume, and is the first and only foam made only from natural latex (FSC-certified, meaning it comes only from responsibly managed forests).
An interesting curiosity: both foams made by Kiefer Von Zoe are spread on a stretch cloth. Why is this important? Because even if they are folded, they do not go into any wrinkles making it easier and more qualitative to construct the shoe and get it even more comfortable.
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