We are delighted to announce Outsole material type is now available within the Material Exchange platform. The Outsole is an important element in the construction of a shoe, it can be made from materials such as Leather, EVA, Rubber, PVC and many more. The new update will enable material suppliers to upload 3D images of their Outsole stock and share these with multiple footwear brands around the world, in real-time. The 3D samples and key material attribute data will limit the need for material suppliers to send physical samples to material sourcing teams; reducing their carbon impact and contributing to a more sustainable industry.
The new advancement will enable brands to further simplify the digital design and creation process by downloading multiple shoe components; the Upper Material, the Insole and now the Outsole, all from the Material Exchange Platform to be used in conjunction with digital design software – dramatically reducing product development costs and improving go-to-market timescales.
The new advancement is a further step in making Material Exchange the most comprehensive digital material library in the world!
The full list of supported materials:
- ABS – Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, ABS Outsoles are gaining traction for their exciting characteristics. This type of plastic is tough, durable and does not contain any toxins whatsoever.
- BPU – This is blocked polyurethane (PU). It’s an improved version of PU. It’s extra tough, extra resilient and it is very resistant to the weather, making it a very suitable outdoor outsole.
- EVA – Technically referred to as Ethylene Vinyl Acetate, EVA is a commonly used material for sock liners, midsoles, outsoles and even entire shoes. Currently, EVA offers one of the best shock absorbing properties on the planet. Due to the combination of features like lightweight, incredible flexibility, elasticity and excellent coloring.
- Leather – The first outsoles used natural materials such as animal hides to protect the bottom of the foot from a harsh ground. This was a method favored by American Indians, and as the Middle Ages, they shifted to leather or jute, which is a vegetable fiber, for those not totally in-the-know on sole materials.
- Nylon – More specifically, nylons are a family of materials called polyamides, made from reacting carbon-based chemicals found in coal and petroleum in a high-pressure, heated environment. This chemical reaction, known as condensation polymerization, forms a large polymer – in the form of a sheet of nylon.
- PU – Polyurethane Bottoms – A great sole needs to be durable, comfortable and fit for purpose, not to mention very affordable. Polyurethane outsoles allow designers to achieve all these objectives. They are practical, waterproof, and have excellent long-term mechanical properties. PU soles offer excellent wear resistance, low density, superb shock absorption, decent slip resistance.
- PVC – PVC outsoles provide a synthetic alternative to leather and allow for more cost-effective options.
- Rubber (RB) – A rubber outsole is made with either hot press molding, sub-natural or recycled rubber.
- SR – Slip Resistant materials created in a unique and sometimes patented tread pattern, allowing for maximum grip when you are walking on slippery surfaces.
- Steel – In a boot or shoe, the shank is a part of the supportive structure between the insole and outsole.
- TPE – Thermoplastic Elastomers are a class of copolymers or a physical mix of polymers (usually a plastic and a rubber) that consist of materials with both thermoplastic and elastomeric properties.
- TPR – Thermoplastic rubbers are used extensively in the footwear sector for the production of various types of soles, shoe platforms, wooden soles and rubber boots.
- TPU – Thermoplastic polyurethane. It’s more lightweight design and is heat resistant to 266 degrees Fahrenheit. It is generally longer lasting and resistant to splitting, abrasion, oil, and chemicals.
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