The footwear industry has made great strides in recent times thanks to innovative new materials, environmentally friendly technologies and increasingly sustainable solutions. In this context, PrimaLoft, a leading materials science company that provides insulation for technical clothing and footwear, emerges.
We had the opportunity to talk to Leonardo Loro, Sales Leader Europe of PrimaLoft, to find out how this technology is redefining the world of footwear, a world where comfort and performance meet sustainability.
A story of innovation:
As Leonardo tells us, PrimaLoft’s history in the footwear sector is long and full of collaborations with renowned brands such as Timberland, which have lasted for decades. Already in the early 2000s, PrimaLoft presented its first product specifically for shoes. Today, they collaborate with over 50 brands worldwide, from highly technical names such as Dynafit, La Sportiva, Nordica and Scarpa to more casual brands such as Ecco, Vans and White’s boots.
What are the requirements that make these insulation materials an essential and successful element?
The key element of PrimaLoft’s success is the balance between performance and sustainability, this is at the heart of their ‘Relentlessly Responsible’ mission.
Loro explain that:
‘Sustainability is a key element in every new product development for us, but it can’t be at the expense of the performance. Our footwear insulations needs to withstand the rigors of repeated wear end extreme conditions, providing protection from the cold, wet weather and even heat while providing comfortable warmth under constant compression.
On the other side, our insulation products for footwear are all made of 100% post-consumer recycled material and we have specific technologies that reduce the carbon footprint in the manufacturing process or make the materials biodegrade in specific environments.’
Limits must be exceeded. How do you achieve these excellent results?
Leonardo explains that continuous innovation is the driving force behind PrimaLoft, which, as an advanced technology company, constantly strives to push the boundaries of performance and sustainability.
Each new product undergoes rigorous testing before being introduced to the market; for example, PrimaLoft’s footwear insulation retains up to 90% of its original volume even after 500,000 repeated compression cycles, ensuring exceptional durability.
Which technologies does PrimaLoft offer to the footwear market? And what’s new?
In recent years, we have introduced several breakthrough innovations. Our best-selling product is a needled insulation from our Gold series which provides best-in-class insulation even under repeated compression and in wet conditions.
A very special technology is called PrimaLoft® Insulation Aerogel. It utilizes a highly porous, lightweight structure originally developed for NASA. It acts as a temperature barrier, locking out extreme cold and heat, to keep you comfortable in a wide range of conditions – perfect for footbeds, toe caps and uppers.Recently, we’ve added two of our key sustainability technology platforms to our footwear range: PrimaLoft® Bio™ and PrimaLoft® P.U.R.E.™. PrimaLoft® Bio™ is the first-ever technology that uses 100% recycled content and enables synthetic insulation and fabric fibers to return to materials found in nature. With PrimaLoft® P.U.R.E.™ technology, we have transformed the manufacturing of synthetic insulation to reduce the carbon emissions produced during the process by up to 70%.
Beyond technical technology
PrimaLoft technologies, as Loro points out, are not limited to highly technical footwear. They also find their way into areas where comfort is essential even in less than optimal conditions. From lightweight, thermally efficient shoes to durable materials, PrimaLoft is a reliable partner for those seeking maximum comfort in any situation.
Leonardo gives the example of the Scarpa Phantom Tech shoe, pointing to it as the perfect lightweight shoe for ice and mixed climbing using various of our materials; another example of a successful outdoor/lifestyle shoe is the Timberland 6 inch boots.
What is your current favorite shoe, that features PrimaLoft, and where do you use it ?
As an avid skier, I wear my Nordica boots down any slope, whatever the conditions.Leonardo Loro
In a world where comfort, performance and sustainability are increasingly interlinked, PrimaLoft is at the forefront, creating solutions that multiply the value of footwear and redefine industry standards. Thanks to their dedication to innovation and sustainability, we can expect even more surprises and improvements in the future of technical footwear and beyond.
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