No one wants to see a pair of flimsy shoes when opening a shoe box. Yet shoe material are soft, and don’t have a shape on its own. So how exactly does a shoe keep its shape most time of its life. I am going to explain how shoe shape is maintained.
The very first step lays in a piece of object, a shoe last. It’s an object that shaped like a human foot, a representation of a foot. In a way, lasts are mannequins for shoes. Lasts are usually made of wood, plastic, aluminum and steel depends on types of footwear.
Shoe last must be maintained inside of a shoe for the entire period of manufactory. The process keeping shoe in shape is called form fitting. There are variety types of form fitting machines, such as toe form fitting, heel counter form fitting, and lasting, etc.
Most shoe materials are in soft nature, even with the most durable material like leather, some type of re-enforced structure must be added onto a shoe in order to keep a shoe in shape. There are internal and external re-enforcements. Internal re-enforced structures are hidden inside of a shoe, such as lining, heel counter and toe stiffer. External re-enforcements are visible from outside and in modern day shoes, it has part of a design features. For example, high impact sports shoes such as running sneakers, BB sneakers usually contain an extra piece located at toe and heel areas. More sneakers nowadays are having these extra pieces for aesthetics purpose.
Maintaining shoe shape is extremely critical in shoe making because of the complex nature of foot ergonomics, which directly relates to comfort, support, performance, health and aesthetics.
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