Must Read

Select Language

Milano Unica ‘increasingly attractive’ organisers say

New chapter for Outdoor Voices

Inditex invests in ‘lab cotton’ start-up

social media links instagram facebook X linkedIn
FFF NYC opens next week

FFF NYC opens next week

The summer edition of the Functional Fabric Fair, powered by Performance Days, will be taking place on July 16 and 17, 2024, at the Javits Centre in New York City. Some 150 exhibitors have signed up. Show organisers have released the programme of...

WSA Features

More Features...

WSA Archive

Get Down with the Facts

Get Down with the Facts

British outdoor brand Rab moves forward with its down recycling programme.  By the time 2022 had drawn to a close, Equip-owned outdoor brand Rab had recycled and repurposed 54 kilograms of end-of-life natural down material. Its domestic down recycling scheme had begun with a single bin at its ...
Search: submit search


More Footwear...

Footwear Archive

Major emissions milestone

Major emissions milestone

A decision to use leather made from traceable hides has allowed Icebug to cut in half the  carbon emissions it attributes to the leather in its products. Swedish footwear brand Icebug has achieved a substantial reduction in the carbon emissions it calculates for the nubuck leather it uses in...
Search: submit search
Downloadable PDF Vosk believes charity begins at home
South Africa’s answer to TOMS overcomes setbacks to secure manufacturing in the country, and aims to tackle poverty and foot-borne disease with its buy-one-get-one strategy.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2019
Downloadable PDF Shoes help Kipchoge smash barrier
Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge has said running a marathon in under two hours, which he managed to do in October, sends a message to the world that “no human is limited”. The special shoes he wore on the day helped overcome any human limitations to such an extent that some commentators have questioned the footwear’s prospects for future use in competitive sport.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2019
Downloadable PDF Taiwan’s experts stay one step ahead
Once again Titas was awash with new ideas - biodegradability, novel recycled fibres and the circular economy among those on the agenda.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2019
Downloadable PDF BASF makes major investment in footwear
Because “nothing in the footwear industry stands still”, BASF has decided the time is right to invest in a network of footwear-focused facilities in different parts of the world. It will use these centres to work closely with brands to develop new materials for use in shoe production.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2019
Downloadable PDF VF’s new London HQ ‘shows commitment’
Five brands tell WSA about upcoming launches and strategies, as well as how the seven-storey Axtell Soho will boost their standing in Europe.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2019
Downloadable PDF Positive approach in the face of climate change
By measuring its greenhouse gas emissions and then deliberately overcompensating when offsetting them, Swedish outdoor footwear brand Icebug now claims to be “climate positive”. It wants other companies to follows its lead and is willing to show them how.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2019
Downloadable PDF Futurecraft.Loop takes a stride
By creating a shoe from a single material, adidas claimed to have made a 100% recyclable product – but it is still some way from a true ‘closed loop’.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2019
Downloadable PDF If the shoe fits
Video calling, virtual reality headsets and autonomous vehicles – Nike’s newest innovation means self-lacing shoes could be the next science fiction prediction that becomes a reality. While this would certainly by an interesting development, the real focus of the project is to provide athletes with the perfect fit.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2019
Downloadable PDF Footwear Technology: ISPO 2019 round-up
Sustainability and technology were high up on the agenda for brands presenting their latest footwear products at the ISPO exhibition.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2019
Downloadable PDF Lexus-inspired sports shoe
Footwear Technology: Norman Walsh/Lexus - A new handmade shoe from sports brand Norman Walsh takes its inspiration from automotive brand Lexus, including its use of upholstery leather in the upper.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2019
Downloadable PDF Progress of the utmost importance
Footwear Technology: Sympatex Functional material developer Sympatex believes its new footwear technology can open up “a completely new chapter” in the development of waterproof outdoor shoes.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2018
Downloadable PDF Breakthrough shoe
Rise to the Challenge: Reebok and DuPont Tate & Lyle Following a pledge in 2017, sports brand Reebok has now launched its first shoes made, mostly, from “things that grow”. The footwear has cotton uppers and soles made from materials derived from corn, developed by DuPont Tate & Lyle. This choice of material has helped give the shoe its name.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2018
Downloadable PDF Footwear Technology: Adidas Parley. The best of both worlds.
With the release of a running shoe that features recycled plastic from the ocean and is being made at one of its Speedfactory advanced manufacturing facilities, adidas has brought together two of its most interesting concepts from recent years.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2018
Downloadable PDF Smarter online sales for shoe brands
Rise to the Challenge: Foundry and The Footsoldiers Augmented reality used to be a difficult technology for footwear designers to use, but a new software program, developed jointly by technology provider Foundry and specialist footwear design consultancy The Footsoldiers, could change that with the added promise of an enhanced experience for online shoppers.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2018
Downloadable PDF An environmentally progressive shoe brand
SUSTAINABILITY: TWO DEGREES. Confusion in the marketplace over the sustainability credentials of leather and its competitor materials is rife. When boating shoe brand Two Degrees launched in June this year following a successful crowdfunding campaign, its founders put special emphasis on the footwear’s environmental credentials. But finding a way to describe the materials they had chosen to use proved to be “a minefield”.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2018
Downloadable PDF HOVR helps Under Armour bounce back
FOOTWEAR TECHNOLOGY: DOW & UNDER ARMOUR. Shoes with a “zero-gravity feel” have helped sports brand Under Armour make a good start to 2018.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2018
Downloadable PDF Tencel helps Allbirds to branch out
FOOTWEAR TECHNOLOGY: ALLBIRDS AND LENZING. San Francisco-based shoe brand Allbirds has said Tencel, which it has used to make a new collection called Tree, is the most sustainable material it has used so far.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2018
Downloadable PDF Designers asked to get creative with Flexweave
Reebok believes the possible applications of its Flexweave material extend beyond its original use in shoes. It has recruited prominent design groups to explore what it says is “limitless potential”.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2018
Downloadable PDF Because shrinking and pinking isn’t enough...
Sports brands are beginning to realise that to develop footwear and apparel for women they need to do more than just adapt the products they have already created for men.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2018
Downloadable PDF ISPO 2018: footwear review
The ISPO fair in Munich at the end of January was a hotbed of footwear innovation as brands displayed their sustainability credentials and demonstrated how their shoes can help wearers tackle challenging conditions
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2018
Downloadable PDF Graphene gives the gift of grip
A collaboration between technical sportswear brand inov-8 and the UK’s National Graphene Institute could herald the start of a new era for running and fitness footwear.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2018
Downloadable PDF One step closer to ‘fit revolution’
FitStation by HP, created with the help of several transatlantic tie-ups, has been touted as a game-changer for custom footwear and could enable shorter lead times and minimal returns.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2018
Downloadable PDF Athletic shoes: an online elephant enters the room
Recent results and developments in the market are making industry observers wonder if the gloss may be coming off the athletic footwear sector. It’s certainly a changing world.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2017
Downloadable PDF An algal alternative
US company Bloom has found a way to turn potentially harmful algae into a foam material that can be used to create shoes. Its new brand partner believes this foam could revolutionise the footwear industry.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2017
Downloadable PDF Walk this way
The latest footwear collection from Decathlon’s Newfeel brand includes, for the first time, shoes specifically designed for Nordic walkers.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2017
Downloadable PDF By the people, for the people
French brand Salomon has developed a new process for manufacturing customised running footwear that it believes can “transform the shoe sector”.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2017
Downloadable PDF Joining the dots
Three companies have collaborated to produce what Puma describes as its most technical boot yet.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2017
Downloadable PDF Sportswear giants shoot for the moon
Footwear Technology: Sub-Two-Hour Marathon: Following several years of intense product development and multi-million-dollar investment, Nike narrowly missed out on achieving the first sub-two-hour marathon. Rival adidas is planning an attempt of its own.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2017
Downloadable PDF Footwear at ISPO 2017
The once-a-year ISPO winter sports fair was buzzing, as usual. Penny Leese reports from Munich.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2017
Downloadable PDF Difference maker
The founder of the Pensole Footwear Design Academy reveals the reasons behind his commitment to helping the next generation of athletic shoe designers to make their way in the industry.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2017
Downloadable PDF Footwear Technology: Reebok Liquid Factory
Reebok breaks the mould: Sports brand Reebok is aiming to revolutionise the way athletic footwear is made with the help of a new liquid material developed by chemicals manufacturer BASF.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2017
Downloadable PDF Footwear Technology: Enda
Enda targets pacesetters of running shoe market: Kenyan start-up Enda believes the country’s reputation as a producer of world-class runners means it should be capable of also producing world-class running shoes.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2016
Downloadable PDF Game Changers: Joseph Gerber
A true inventor: In an unusual column for this series, we speak to David Gerber about his father, Joseph Gerber, the founder of Connecticut based software and automation solutions provider Gerber Technology
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2016
Downloadable PDF Aku makes the most of Zero Impact leather
Footwear Technology: Aku & Gruppo Dani - Italian outdoor footwear brand Aku, a long-term partner of prominent leather producer Gruppo Dani, was the first shoe producer to use Dani’s ‘Zero Impact’ leather in its products as part of a wider drive to become more sustainable.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2016
Downloadable PDF Element of surprise
Game Changers: John Eberle - In August, footwear brand Keen named John Eberle as its new general manager for the outdoor, lifestyle and children’s categories. He says the brand must know itself, know its consumers and use innovation to surprise them.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2016
Downloadable PDF Tyre specialist steps into footwear
Footwear Technology: Michelin / Jihua Group - French company Michelin has been making high-performance tyres for over 120 years. Through a partnership with Chinese textile manufacturer Jihua Group, it is now channelling its knowledge and experience into developing bespoke technical soles for footwear brands.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2016
Downloadable PDF Footwear Technology: eTPU
End of the road for EVA?: The use of expanded thermoplastic polyurethane (eTPU) in the midsole of shoe designs from sportswear manufacturers including adidas and Puma could have ramifications beyond a prolonged court dispute. With adidas chief executive, Herbert Hainer, suggesting that the material can “replace EVA completely”, the development may signal an important change in the wider footwear industry.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2016
Downloadable PDF Rise To The Challenge: Event Fabrics / Topo Athletic
New shoe “doubles” breathability: Membrane technology provider eVent has worked with Kansas-based outdoor footwear company Topo Athletic to launch Hydroventure, which the two partner companies have called “the lightest waterproof breathable trail running shoe available on the market”.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2016
Downloadable PDF Brand Profile: Wizwedge
Not here to make up the numbers: With football’s European Championship fast approaching, the threat of a star player being denied his moment in the spotlight by injury is at its peak. Managers have resisted the pressure from fans to wrap their key players in cotton wool as domestic seasons across Europe drew to a close. Meet the Marseille-based start-up trying to make this pretournament anxiety a thing of the past.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2016
Downloadable PDF Brand Profile: Vibram
Vibram develops most technical sole yet: The Italian company is accelerating its developments and has announced a raft of launches and collaborations that are helping it to power away from problems of the past.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2016
Downloadable PDF Footwear Technology: ISPO Munich 2016
Impressions from ISPO
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2016
Downloadable PDF Footwear: Trans-Pacific Partnership
‘We can’t overemphasise the impact this will have’: The signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership could lead to $450m in annual savings for US brands, says FDRA, as Vietnam-made shoes become tarriff-free and sourcing shifts from China.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2016
Downloadable PDF Brand Profile: Haglöfs
Haglöfs extends sustainability aims: The Swedish outdoor brand has set its sustainability bar high so there can be no accusations of greenwashing, and has introduced a set of criteria for footwear to carry its Take Care label.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2015
Downloadable PDF Footwear Technology: Lundhags
Boot brand identifies with Terracare leather: When high-end Swedish outdoor footwear brand Lundhags heard about Terracare leather produced by Josef Heinen, it identified immediately with the concept it aims to put across. You can make high-quality leather and care for the environment at the same time, and you can take pride in putting this message across to retailers and consumers.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2015
Downloadable PDF Finding inspiration on the show floor
There were a great number of interesting products on display at the recent outdoor and sportswear-focused events in Germany and the US. We pick out a handful.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2015
Downloadable PDF WSA - The Second 10 Years
A brief timeline in textiles and sports, Part 2.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2015
Downloadable PDF Footwear Technology: Vibram Fivefingers
Bare minimum: Last autumn, Vibram FiveFingers settled a lawsuit, filed by a dissatisfied customer, but not before the idea of barefoot (or minimally-shod) running underwent much unflattering scrutiny. So how is post-settlement Vibram doing today? Has it abandoned the running market and rebranded FiveFingers as quirky yachting shoes? Quite the opposite. The company is continuing to develop running shoes, form partnerships with running organisations, and educate consumers on being safe and effective barefoot runners.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2015
Downloadable PDF 20th Anniversary: 20 in 20: Footwear
In the 20 years since we began publishing WSA there have been enormous milestones in the field of outdoor and sports products. In the first of two articles on this subject, we look here at 20 eye-catching developments in the last 20 years in athletic and sports footwear. There is no order of preference and nor is the timeline important on this occasion. These are simply stories centred around footwear developments that created headlines in WSA and beyond and helped shape the performance footwear industry of today.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2015
Downloadable PDF WSA - The First Ten Years
A brief timeline WSA in textiles and sports.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2015
Downloadable PDF Anniversary Perspective: 20 years on
Looking into the future market with the benefit of hindsight: In 1995, textile management consultant David Rigby outlined his thoughts on present and future markets for sports- and leisurewear in WSA’s first issue. Twenty years on, Alexandra Zakharova decided to focus on the same markets and review the factors that have contributed towards their growth. Using Rigby’s original article as a starting point, it has led her to consider multiple areas of activity and highlights the importance of the ‘Millennials’, especially women, for the sector’s further development.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2015
Downloadable PDF Footwear Technology: ISPO Munich
Buzzing sports - ispo Munich 2015 took place at the start of February. Penny Leese was on hand to capture details of many of the outstanding outdoor footwear innovations on show.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2015
Downloadable PDF Footwear Technology: Desma Quadwrap
Injection of imagination: Desma’s latest concept, the Quadwrap, uses direct injection technology to make the whole shoe, meaning manpower expenditure per pair is reduced by 90%.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2015
Downloadable PDF Rise To The Challenge: RS Scan and Materialise
Gait-crashers can help bring Paula Radcliffe back to the party: Advances in 3D printing mean two Belgian companies are now able to bring their knowledge and expertise together to form a new joint-venture company and produce personalised insoles that have already won the admiration of world record marathon runner Paula Radcliffe.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2014
Downloadable PDF Footwear Technology: Dow Elastomers
Battle for the midsole: EVA-based foams have dominated the midsole materials market for many years. Dow Elastomers believes it can now offer footwear brands and athletic shoe consumers something extra if they use olefin block copolymers instead of, or in addition to, EVA, to provide extra comfort and resilience.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2014
Downloadable PDF Footwear Technology: Bayer MaterialScience
A ‘new generation’ of PU-coated fabrics: New technology from Bayer MaterialScience offers the makers of PU-coated materials and the brands that buy from them the chance to make their processes and supply chains solvent-free.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2014
Downloadable PDF Brand profile: Crocs
Who needs product diversity? Thought by many commentators at the start of the century to be a one-season wonder, Crocs now claims to be the eighth biggest footwear brand in the world and is still growing. It wants to keep finding new styles of shoe in which it can use its proprietary Croslite cell-based resin material and develop itself beyond its iconic clog into a brand for all seasons.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2014
Downloadable PDF Footwear Technology: Gore-Tex Surround
Gore claims “all-round” breathable breakthrough: WL Gore has announced its first major footwear development in more than a decade. It involves incorporating a new version of its membrane technology into a specific shoe construction to deliver what its says will be breathability under as well as above the foot.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2014
Downloadable PDF Stealing a march
Potential changes to the Berry Amendment, which could lead to the US military buying 100% domestically made athletic shoes, have been touted as a “big win” for certain footwear manufacturers. Could it be the “rebirth of an era of athletic shoe production” in the US?
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2014
Downloadable PDF Rise to the Challenge: Speedfactory
The robots are coming: ‘The Future of Manufacturing’, adidas’ Speedfactory project, is using the specialist know-how of German robotics and textile engineers to produce a novel framework for making shoes.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2014
Downloadable PDF Footwear Technology: Shoes at ISPO 2014
Sporty gets fashionable: ISPO 2014 in Munich clearly demon­strated how much the lines between sport and fashion are blurring. Natural materials like wood, wool, leather and felt are making a resurgence in both equipment, clothing and accessories. But these materials often have high-tech details such as waterproof membranes, sealed seams and waterproof zips.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2014
Downloadable PDF Innovators: Angel Martinez
Shoe man, not show man: He rarely gives interviews, believing that his track-record in the athletic and outdoor footwear sectors speaks for itself, but it’s clear from recent comments that Deckers Corporation chief executive, Angel Martinez, still thinks deeply about the best ways to help his footwear brands connect with the changing demands of consumers.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2014
Downloadable PDF Brand profile: Rocky Brands
Growth is on Rocky Brands’ mind: Buyers of work, hunting and western-style footwear in many markets know the family of brands that comes under the Rocky Brands umbrella, but perhaps a little less about the company behind the boots and about its plans for growth in 2014.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2014
Downloadable PDF Innovators: Tinker Hatfield
30 years in shoes, and counting: This new series of features in WSA will aim to tell the stories of people, ideas and companies that have had a lasting effect on the sports and outdoor industry. We aim to highlight outstanding thinking and practice, from groups or individuals, that still benefit athletes and enthusiasts today and tell a powerful story. We begin the series with Tinker Hatfield, vicepresident for design and special projects at Nike.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2014
Downloadable PDF Footwear technology: PU Soling
Where is PU as a soling material?: Polyurethane has now been available as a soling material for over 40 years having first been introduced in the early 1970s. This was in fact a decade when three important new soling materials first appeared on the market; polyurethane (PU), thermoplastic rubber (TPR) and thermoplastic rubber (TPU). So how have these performed over the intervening years? Which are the winners, which the losers and why?
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2014
Downloadable PDF Rise to the challenge: Xtep and Dow Microbial Control
A fresh approach to athletic footwear: Dow partnered Chinese sportswear manufacturer Xtep to find an odour control solution that that would work for the Chinese consumer.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2014
Downloadable PDF Footwear technology: Football boots
The battle for the beautiful game: July 2014’s World Cup in Brazil will be a lucrative opportunity for all sports brands, and Nike and adidas have thrown down the gauntlet with their latest football boots.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2013
Downloadable PDF Ecco takes no chances in Russia
Legislation that has come into force regarding the lining of children’s shoes in Russia is lacking in clarity. Danish footwear brand Ecco has decided to err on the side of caution, with knock-on effects for suppliers.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2013
Downloadable PDF Footwear technology: Barefoot
Study questions ‘barefoot’ claims: New research from academics at the University of Calgary suggests they have found little evidence to support claims from some barefoot running enthusiasts that shedding shoes can help avoid injuries.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2013
Downloadable PDF Footwear technology: Testing
A faster method for testing shoes for water resistance: Keeping feet dry is the most obvious purpose of membrane technology in shoes and boots, but a new, faster test for water resistance, developed by SATRA, has raised questions about water-retention in some styles and the increase in mass and decrease in comfort that this inevitably causes.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2013
Downloadable PDF Sustainability: Puma incycle
Low-key launch for InCycle Basket: Puma has been true to its promise and has launched the new InCycle Basket shoe and an athletic apparel collection to go with it. The sports brand has made much of the footwear and apparel’s green credentials but appears to have backed away from questionable comparisons between the environmental cost of the new shoe and that of its more traditional leather ones.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2013
Downloadable PDF Footwear technology: Innovative concepts
The big brands are in a race to bring the latest footwear innovations to consumers and are discovering new ‘concepts’ along the way.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2013
Downloadable PDF Brand profile: Camkids
The little emperors’ new clothes: 2013 marks the 35th anniversary of China’s one-child policy, a strategy that has prevented 300 million to 400 million births, according to the government. But while the jury is out on the long-term social effects of the strategy, Camkids sees it as the reason for its growth into one of the largest children’s outdoor apparel and footwear brands in China.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2013
Downloadable PDF Standards in sport: Wildwater canoeing
Preventative rapids action:The International Canoe Federation has only a few rules relating to what competitors must wear on their head, torso and feet, but the rules are clear and always make the safety of canoeists paramount.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2013
Downloadable PDF Footwear Technology: adidas
Star-studded rugby boot unveiled: Sports brand adidas believes a special stud configuration on the latest in its line of rugby boots will be of particular help to flankers and number 8 forwards.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2013
Downloadable PDF Brand Profile: Deckers
Hope for other brands as Deckers aims to outgrow sheepskin boots: There’s more to Deckers Outdoor Corporation than UGG: six other outdoor, sport and lifestyle brands are giving the group grounds for optimism for growth in 2013.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2013
Downloadable PDF Footwear Technology: Tenson
Tenson marches on: The Swedish brand has spanned the product spectrum from swimwear to skiwear and its new line of footwear showcases the innovative nature that keeps it fresh after 60 years.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2013
Downloadable PDF Brand profile: Kangaroos
Bouncing back: KangaROOS shoes have suffered mixed fortunes - from leaping off the shelves in the early 1980s to heading towards a crash a decade later. But true to the name, it is on the way back up, and its managing director Julia Hummel tells WSA about its giant leaps in Northern Europe.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2012
Downloadable PDF Footwear technology: Merrell
Technical turns for Merrell: Outdoor footwear brand Merrell knows it faces new in-house competition from Saucony since parent group, Wolverine World Wide, moved to acquire the performance and lifestyle group of Collective Brands earlier this year. Merrell’s immediate response has been to emphasise the highly technical characteristics of its shoes and boots, starting with winter 2012.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2012
Downloadable PDF True grit
by Simon Roberts: Away from the glitz and glamour of the high-profile commercial battles between big-name sports shoe brands, a much quieter footwear revolution has been taking place amidst the mud and rocks in the United Kingdom where fell runners run free.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2012
Downloadable PDF Footwear technology: Nike flyknit
Purls of wisdom: Nike’s Flyknit running shoes shone at the Olympics, but this new method of manufacturing could end up changing more than just a few medal places. Footwear construction experts believe it could have the potential to revolutionise shoe construction the world over.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2012
Downloadable PDF Footwear technology: Garmont
Boot beauty brings rewards: Light in weight and visually attractive, Garmont’s Masterlite ski mountaineering boot has won admirers in high places.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2012
Downloadable PDF Let your feet feel the way
Toe socks are an old idea but, as the recent experience of two prominent brands shows, their ability to help runners, walkers, cyclists and other active people improve balance and body posture is winning new admirers for this five-toe phenomenon all the time.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2012
Downloadable PDF Rise to the challenge: Aitex and Tex-Petrel
Bamboo lining for sweet-smelling shoes: Textile technology institute Aitex and footwear component manufacturer Tex-Petrel, both from the footwear-manufacturing province of Alicante in Spain, have combined to produce a new shoe-lining material, Gootex. Based on bamboo fibre, the new product offers high levels of antimicrobial properties, plus a range of other benefits.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2012
Downloadable PDF Barefoot shoes, Danish style
There has been a lot of talk about the barefoot revolution, in both trade and consumer press over the past couple of years. With the launch of the BIOM collection in 2009, Ecco had already integrated the trend into its sports footwear, but it has added to this for summer 2013 with a unique product: running shoes made from unlined yak leather.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2012
Downloadable PDF Let the games begin
The Summer Olympic Games is the biggest sporting event on earth, and fashion, fame and flashing lights seem more important to athletes than ever before. Still, amid the public relations extravaganza there are examples of genuine innovation in the clothes and shoes athletes will wear at London 2012.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2012
Downloadable PDF Rise to the challenge: Outdry and Sixton
A new protective Sixton boot for workers exposed to extreme conditions combines waterproof breathable membrane technology from OutDry with a popular choice of lining, wool.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2012
Downloadable PDF Footwear technology: Wolverine Worldwide
The game changes: Wolverine Worldwide has announced a deal to acquire the performance and lifestyle brands of rival footwear group Collective Brands, taking the total number of shoe brands in its portfolio to 16.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2012
Downloadable PDF Footwear technology: Digital Design
Shoes go digital by Sergio Dulio: The first contacts of the shoe industry with the digital domain date back many years and were aimed at speeding up and simplifying the work of technicians and designers. Since then, the drift from the old analogue world reliant on human control, physical tools and manual operations, has steadily increased the digitalisation of systems, machines and processes up to the level we know today.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2012
Downloadable PDF The natural way?
As the barefoot running trend grows ever more popular, experts argue the pros and cons of cushioning, muscle tuning and whether ‘natural’ really is better.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2012
Downloadable PDF Sports trends – colourful, retro & luxury
There are many seemingly contradictory trends in winter sports footwear, but they can complement each other too. Some very obvious trends at ispo 2012 were colourful, retro, luxury, barefoot, and family winter sports.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2012
Downloadable PDF Footwear technology: Lightweight shoes
The speed of lightness: Lightweight sports shoes have rocketed this year, accounting for nearly a third of sales in the running category in the US.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2012
Downloadable PDF Defining foot comfort
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2011
Downloadable PDF Footwear technology: Merrell
The bare necessities: Footwear brand Merrell recently teamed up with a professional barefoot runner to promote its first range of ‘barefoot’ shoes, showing that sometimes the old proverb is true – if you can’t beat them, join them.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2011
Downloadable PDF Brands put footwear first
With Under Armour launching its biggest ever footwear advertising campaign and more and more brands reporting increases in footwear sales, we consider why so many companies are putting footwear first.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2011
Downloadable PDF Footwear technology: ATP manufacturing
Adidas award makes a world of difference to ATP: Success for Reebok with its EasyTone and ZigTech has meant success for key suppliers, including the US company ATP Manufacturing. The insole manufacturer has been able to expand its production base, opening a new manufacturing unit in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2011
Downloadable PDF Footwear technology: Haglöfs
Sandals with soul: Swedish brand Haglöfs has created a new series of outdoor sandals featuring mouldable footbeds from Sole; a development which it claims places it ahead of the competition.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2011
Downloadable PDF Bright colours and barefoot running
Regular contributor Penny Leese reviews the footwear offerings on show at the ispo 2011 exhibition in Munich earlier in the year and notes that, in shoes at least, sport is differentiating itself from fashion in a very colourful way.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2011
Downloadable PDF Footwear Technology: Puma
Running against the trend: Puma claims its new performance running shoe, called Faas, is the best running shoe on the market. And the German brand took a different approach when it came to designing the Jamaican-inspired footwear.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2011
Downloadable PDF Brand Profile: Li-Ning
Tough at the top: Chinese sports brand Li-Ning has set its sights on competing against western brands such as Nike and adidas, but competing against such giants on their home turf will always be an uphill battle.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2011
Downloadable PDF Footwear Technology: Dass Argentina
Manufacturer believes in Eldorado: New investment from the biggest brands in the business suggests a Brazilian-owned footwear factory in northern Argentina is destined for success.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2011
Downloadable PDF Footwear Technology: Hi -Tec
Where the action is: Sports and outdoor brand Hi-Tec’s decision to relocate its global headquarters from the UK to the Netherlands is part of a broader push to encourage its employees and customers to be ‘inspired by life’.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2011
Downloadable PDF Sporting a 150 years of heritage
Stuburt footwear may not be a household name that can be mentioned in the same league as Nike and adidas, but in terms of heritage, with over 150 years of tradition, it can boast a history of quality and experience with some of the great English sport shoe names of the past alongside Gola, Foster Brothers, Walsh, Mitre, Stylo and Hall.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2010
Downloadable PDF Footwear Technology: Stuffitts
Taking the sting out of stinky shoes: Stuffitts, are shoe savers made using cedar wood in combination with technical fabric. No matter whether the climate is wet or dry, hot or cold, and no matter the environment or outdoor terrain, sports and outdoor shoes are bound to contain moisture, leading to bacterial build-up and the possibility of bad smells.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2010
Downloadable PDF Footwear Technology: Rocky Brands
Caribbean option: As befits a company that still sells around $250 million worth of quality shoes and boots a year, Ohio-based Rocky Brands operates and manages a global manufacturing platform, with much of its footwear coming from the industry’s production hot-spots in Asia. However, the company insists it values greatly, and will continue to invest in, a sourcing location that’s slightly closer to home.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2010
Downloadable PDF Footwear technology: Callaghan
Technology idea helps Callaghan go sporty: Spanish footwear brand Callaghan has waited a while to build a footwear technology idea it calls Adaptaction into its collections. But the extremely sporty range it will offer for springsummer 2010 suggests there is now no holding back on the innovation that, the company claims, is allowing it to make “the most comfortable shoes in the world”.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2009
Downloadable PDF Focus On Winners: Chandra Crawford
Sprint champion on comeback trail: She’s the Olympic champion for the women’s cross-country sprint and became a global YouTube star thanks to her singing performance on the podium in Turin, but Chandra Crawford has spent the last year working hard to recover from injury so that she can defend her title at the next Winter Olympics, in Vancouver in February, 2010.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2009
Downloadable PDF Footwear technology: Ace – Feet in Motion
Special shoe throws Wales rugby captain a lifeline
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2009
Downloadable PDF Injinji expands glovelike sock range
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2009
Downloadable PDF Footwear technology: Golf
Contradictions in golf footwear. Holes in golf are what the sport is all about, especially when it comes to holes-in-one. However, holes in golf shoes on wet fairways or when fishing a wayward ball out of the lake are not normally desirable features in golf footwear. At least, that has been the case up to now.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2009
Downloadable PDF Concave speeds up football evolution
Concave believes its football boots have the power to change the way football is played.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2009
Downloadable PDF Footwear technology: OrthoLite
Insole secret is out. Footwear brands are finding insole technology an effective and affordable way to offer product innovation and win consumer loyalty.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2009
Downloadable PDF Focus on winners: Russell Coutts
A life on the ocean wave. In this new section of WSA, we present the views of champion sportspeople on recent textile developments for the clothes, footwear and equipment they use. In this issue, Olympic gold medallist and three-time America’s Cup winner Russell Coutts provides an insight.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2009
Downloadable PDF Innovations for revolutionary running
Running as both a recreational activity and as a competitive sport appears to be becoming increasingly popular. As more and more people get involved, technical textile, garment and footwear manufacturers are working hard behind the scenes to develop new innovations to boost runners’ performance and to improve their comfort levels.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2009
Downloadable PDF Sourcing strategies change as the world becomes a tougher place
Most economic predictions for 2009 are bleak, which means companies selling sports and outdoor clothing, footwear and other equipment are being very careful about what they put on the shelf. Suppliers in all parts of the supply chain are preparing to modify their sourcing strategies accordingly.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2009
Downloadable PDF Footwear technology: Cushioning
Questions over cushioning Biomechanical studies carried out at the German Sport University in Cologne into the use of cushioning in sports shoes have revealed surprising results.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2009
Downloadable PDF The right choice of footwear can save you from injury
Well, here it is, a new season. Shoes for summer have gone through the door and it’s time for you to think about spring 2009; it is beckoning you to the drawing board. Your numbers came in a few percentage points under forecast this season, a trend you’ve noticed over the last few quarters. There’s an undercurrent in the industry, at least here in the US, that you just can’t seem to get a pulse on.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2008
Downloadable PDF The importance of measuring a shoe’s ankle support
While there is plenty of information available on the anatomy and the biomechanics of the ankle, there is no real concept of what ankle supports should do and how they should work. Because this can be an important issue in the fields of specialist footwear for sports, work or orthopaedics, Lyon-based testing and research centre CTC devised a new method for measuring and testing ankle support.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2008
Downloadable PDF Sports market is a breath of fresh air
Italian footwear manufacturer Geox has branched out into the sports sector with its new, patented NET System, which it says offers not just breathability, but “supertranspiration”.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2008
Downloadable PDF What a start to the year
It seems that, at the start of the calendar year, the entire sporting world trains its sights on the Australian city of Melbourne. It’s the second largest city in what Australians refer to as “the Commonwealth” (of states and territories; Melbourne is the capital of the state of Victoria) and is now a thriving, colourful, multicultural place. It has twice been voted the best city in the world to live in (sharing the accolade with Vancouver).
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2008
Downloadable PDF All our own work
A wealth of performance fabric is available to sports and fashion brands, with constant innovation adding new functionality all the time. New features—to protect wearer from the sun, the wind and the rain, to heal body and spirit through aromatherapy, to stretch more naturally with the body’s movements, and to manage moisture, odour and heart-rate—are coming to market every week, it seems.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2008
Downloadable PDF Profiling golf shoes
Tradition runs deep in golf where rules and dress have taken a long journey around the world from their formal origins at St. Andrews, Scotland, in the middle of the eighteenth century. It is therefore no surprise to those of us involved in the sports industry to observe that golf has been slow to change, particularly in the categories of apparel and footwear.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2008
Downloadable PDF Comfort for the sweating foot
Heavy sweating or perspiring is an unavoidable consequence of strenuous physical activity and an essential physiological reaction. Mike Wilson from UK technology centre SATRA explains how footwear has become an important factor in how efficiently temperature regulation occurs.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2007
Downloadable PDF Biomechanical abrasion resistance tester
The ultimate goal of any footwear test is to provide accurate predictions of service performance in as short a timescale as possible and in an efficient and cost effective manner. It has long been an ambition to invent a ‘walking machine’ capable of behaving exactly like the human foot so that shoes can be tested as realistically as possible, short of actually being worn by a human being. SATRA soling specialist Mike George describes the UK-based technology centre’s solution to the problem.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2007
Downloadable PDF Waterproof, breathable footwear for all
P2i does not claim to have invented liquid repellency for footwear, but it does believe its ion-mask process can make liquid repellency available to more brands and more consumers.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2007
Downloadable PDF Sole music
This summer, a special group of 70 walkers made its way across the Via Alpina, a 500-kilometre network of paths through the eight countries that share the Alps, linking Trieste and Monaco. All 70 were wearing boots with soles by Vibram.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2007
Downloadable PDF Lightweight, sporty and accessible
There were plenty of new products to see this time at the European OutDoor event in Friedichshafen as well as lots of thought and innovation.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2007
Downloadable PDF Spring has sprung
Although shoes with springs appeared in a magazine article as far back as 1939, the latest 'spring' formations entering the marketplace are certainly making their mark.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2007
Downloadable PDF Q-Angle - brought to market
Tha latest innovative entry into the footwear market caters strictly for women. Q-Angle is not an innovation in itself but a biomechanical correction for an exaggerated natural motion, but the benefits offered to women by the products designed to deal with this problem could well be far-reaching.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2007
Downloadable PDF Cosy feet and a warm winter at ispo
Despite all of the talk of global warming and the lack of snow this winter, there was plenty of exciting new winter gear at ispo in February.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2007
Downloadable PDF Showtime: Winter wonderland
Buyers visiting this winter's trade fairs must have felt like children in a candy store as they were treated to a feast of new products and developments across the spectrum of yarns and fibres, laminates, apparel, footwear and protective gear.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2007
Downloadable PDF Forefoot technologies come to the fore
One of the most interesting 'trends' in both casual and athletic shoes of late has been the emergence of brands promoting the benefits to the wearer of 'forefoot technology'. We explain the science and consider who is doing what.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2007
Downloadable PDF Slip and grip
While good grip is an advantage for everyday walking, it is essential for most sporting activities. A slip specialist looks at the elements that must be considered to provide sufficient shoe-ground interaction to meet the most demanding performance expectations in sports footwear.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2007
Downloadable PDF Hard hats for the feet
The hard hat symbol has become a recognised sign for safety in factories and on construction sites around the globe. But accidents can happen at any time and in a wide variety of situations—both in and outside the workplace—and it’s not only our heads that need protection. Whilst we expose our feet to a multitude of risks, the shoe industry has been thinking on its feet and has developed footwear to protect us whether at work or at play.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2006
Downloadable PDF Safety footwear standards update
Richard Turner, deputy chief executive of SATRA, chairs the CEN TC 161 main committee and the ISO TC94/SC3 committee which together are responsible for the new standards for safety footwear. Here he explains the implications of the latest legislation.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2006
Downloadable PDF Stress free golf shoe hits the links but will it swing?
Every few years it seems that each sport undergoes a revolution. We’ve witnessed tennis racquet-head size increase dramatically, roller skates go from quad to in-line and downhill skis change from a straight to an hourglass shape–to say nothing of the improvements in materials that are continuous in every sport. Once again it’s golf’s turn to set the industry on its heels –and in this case literally! The new golf shoe from U-Go United Golfers offers a moveable forepart and heel that allows the shoe to shift the weight of the player during the swing–rather than the player controlling the motion by ‘natural’ transition.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2006
Downloadable PDF Hyperhidrosis — the science of sweaty feet
Hyperhidrosis—the technical term for excessive foot perspiration—may not be a particularly pleasant subject, but is one that needs to be addressed… and has been, extensively. The old saying of ‘where there’s muck there’s brass’ could be aptly linked to the idea ‘where there’s sweat there’s innovation’ — and a profit to be turned. The problem of sweaty feet has provided the basis for a plethora of material developments in socks and footwear.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2006
Downloadable PDF What’s in a stitch?
Besides the raw material and count, it is a sewing thread’s construction that determines its properties. Sewing threads are yarn twists that consist of at least one and, usually, two or more yarns. The properties are specified by: construction, twist, ply and cord. While a yarn’s construction defines the individual thread type, twist, ply and cord define the general construction parameters of all threads.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2006
Downloadable PDF Blazing a trail through outdoor
The faster and more hardcore the sport, the more technical and brighter the product’, that was the clear message at the recent OutDoor Fair in Friedrichshafen, Germany, reports Penny Leese. While traditional hiking and walking have received a massive amount of support and still attract new members, thanks to the current crazes—trail walking and running—there are some truly exciting new footwear developments on the scene.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2006
Downloadable PDF Testing to take the heat off feet
The explosion at the Buncefield fuel depot in the UK in December 2005, the biggest explosion in Europe since World War II, illustrated the awesome power that fire can wield. Whilst the bravery of those involved in extinguishing the fire was unquestionable, the apparel and footwear that protected them also played a vital role. Heat and flame resistance have become big issues in footwear and clothing over the last decade and this has led to a plethora of tests being developed.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2006
Downloadable PDF Wonder or 'wounder' shoes on the tennis court
Tennis footwear has to deal with just about as much pounding as the ball, on a wide variety of surfaces. As a consequence modern tennis shoes incorporate a cornucopia of technologies to help avoid injury.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2006
Downloadable PDF Staying upright on the mountains
Measuring grip has always been a problem for manufacturers, but research centre CTC has now developed a new slippage test.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2006
Downloadable PDF Chinese industry and trade shows move inland
A shortage of available labour and rising costs are driving China's industry towards the interior of the country. As a result Chengdu is now a fast growing city which has become famous for its footwear production. This was highlighted at the recent China International Sporting Goods show held in the city.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2006
Downloadable PDF Striking the right balance
The World Cup is a truly global affair and there is a huge multi-billion marketing opportunity for soccer brands. Because the market for replica kits is enormous, the big brands are gambling on backing the winning team, and this has led to some truly innovative products appearing on the market in the run up to the competition, no where less than in the lucrative field of soccer boots.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2006
Downloadable PDF Who’s right in Europe’s footwear anti-dumping issue?
In November, the Footwear Association of Importers and Retailchains (FAIR), representing some 90 European footwear importers and retailers employing approximately 80,000 people and accounting for 40% of the EU’s shoe imports, pleaded its case by saying that well over 10,000 jobs would be at risk if the EU's anti-dumping measures against China and Vietnam were enacted. So, what is happening?
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2006
Downloadable PDF New goals for your 'sole mate'
A hot new trend has sprung up underfoot in an ancient sport; the sport is soccer and the trend – soccer shoes for women. It’s hard to design for a consumer that didn’t exist before, but women’s soccer shoes have become another niche in the expanding market of sports products being designed specifically for women.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2006
Downloadable PDF Stamina specialists and curious amateurs
In a boom time for extreme sports, triathlon has itself become commercial and is now considered as a modern and innovative sport. Malin Auras reports on how a whole industry has developed around it, producing high-tech equipment from bikes to shoes and apparel.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2006
Downloadable PDF Amphibious landing
There are many types of 'waterproof' footwear on the market designed to keep water out and a dry and comfortable environment within, but in certain activities it is nigh on impossible to keep water out. Some manufacturers have realised this and have shifted their focus to concentrate on removing the water as quickly as possible.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2006
Downloadable PDF Healus, running with a bounce
As a physiotherapist and an accomplished marathon runner, Adri Hartveld was only too aware of the injuries runners can incur. Realising that shoes can influence the way people run, he has developed a heel-less running shoe that is said to reduce impact forces by approximately 50%.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2006
Downloadable PDF 'Tell them we're sold out'
Founded in 2003, Keen Footwear has seen spectacular growth thanks to an innovative product offering which has captured the imagination of a wide range of consumers. WSA looks at the story so far in an attempt to see why everyone is so keen on this new brand.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2005
Downloadable PDF Army enters the long-distance trainer wars
The armies of the world are flexing their muscles by wearing not only combat boots but also fitness training shoes and some, such as the British Army, have even gone so far as to assist in the design and development of trainers to meet the needs of their soldiers and the approval of NATO.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2005
Downloadable PDF Climb every mountain (well almost)
The old English saying "up hill and down dale" took on a fresh meaning when WSA contributing editor Till Gottbrath decided to participate in the gruelling Gore-Tex Transalpine Run, covering 203 kilometres and four countries.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2005
Downloadable PDF Sports shoes for summer 2006
Comfort, light weight and increasing breathability are the key words for technical sports shoes for summer 2006. Covering the latest technologies, this feature looks at what's on offer for all climates for the next summer season.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2005
Downloadable PDF Feet, test and match
As the summer hastens in and thoughts focus on the European tennis circuit, the French international research and technology centre, CTC - Centre Technique Cuir Chaussure Maroquinerie, based in Lyon, outlines some of the requirements of tennis shoes, for the amateur as much as the professional.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2005
Downloadable PDF More than a craze
Everyone is talking about Nordic sports and the less snow there is the more people seem to be enthusiastic about it. But it's not only the sports business that is interested. Health insurance agents, physiotherapists, tourist boards, travel agencies and the press just seem to have turned crazy. And so have a couple of hundred thousand people trailing along poles while they're walking their dogs.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2005
Downloadable PDF Reflecting on road runners and other nocturnal creatures
High visibility footwear has come a long way since fireflies were tied to a runner’s boots. Flashing lights have been relegated to fun footwear for kids but late night joggers still need to make sure that others are aware of their presence and shape.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2005
Downloadable PDF Getting the message across
Following the exhibition circuit can be an arduous way of life. But if you’re going to get your message across, it becomes a ‘must’. The fact that you’re away from your desk for extended periods may not impress everyone but at least the recent OR show in Salt Lake City gave WSA a chance to find out more about current footwear thoughts at adidas.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2005
Downloadable PDF Women's winters - warmer and more stylish
More women’s products were on show at ispo than ever before -including better fitting lasts, and boots that are warmer. The day before the fair started the Volvo design conference concentrated on women’s specific design as a growing part of the sports shoe and equipment market. Penny Leese reports.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2005
Downloadable PDF Seen and (hopefully) not hurt
For more than 60 years retroreflective materials have been making conditions safer for those who work in poorly-lit, hazardous situations. More recently, those who pursue outdoor sports have been wearing luminescent clothing in greater numbers as high-visibility materials technology advances.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2005
Downloadable PDF Waterproof barriers for footwear
Moisture control in footwear has seen tremendous improvements in recent years. It wasn’t all that long ago when keeping feet dry meant compromising comfort. New materials and construction methods have changed to ensure that the properties of staying dry and comfortable are compatible.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2005
Downloadable PDF More Fs than Bs
With sports footwear becoming increasingly personalised to meet the perceived requirements of the endorsees, is there a question mark over the level of protection afforded to the average player?
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2004
Downloadable PDF Running ever faster
……to stay on the same spot. The production aspect of the global footwear industry is rapidly polarising in south-east Asia but most of the technical developments start in the West and are transmitted into production benefits. One new program moves from design to pre-production in just 24 hours.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2004
Downloadable PDF Expansion underfoot
Twin launches within days of each other brought new leisure footwear ranges to the international market. New sole designs and compositions may indicate a change of direction from proprietary developments.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2004
Downloadable PDF Ultimate materials testing
Seventy-two runners take on the physical conditions of a summer’s day in California’s Death Valley National Park. One man thinks it’s a good idea to test a new pair of performance shoes as well, and at the end he’s still standing – and smiling.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2004
Downloadable PDF What about that comfort feeling?
When designers skimp on the materials used at the interface between foot and shoe, that’s when the trouble begin. We examine a wide range of modern footwear for its comfort values – and it’s not all a question of linings and EVA.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2004
Downloadable PDF Sports shoes get cool and airy
Sandals, shoes and boots were visible in considerable quantities at the Munich fair grounds. Colour and function were very much to the fore – and there were one of two surprises
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2004
Downloadable PDF Children’s footwear in a material world
An examination of some of the problems occurring in the design and development of children’s footwear. The feature highlights the accountability of manufacturers, designers and parents in ensuring that the minimum amount of damage is caused during the formative years.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2004
Downloadable PDF Clever feet on the climbing circuits
As the sport of rock climbing moves up a notch n difficulty, the technology involved in the footwear development has had to take a giant step. Nowadays, if your shoes don’t grip on the rock with the soles, uppers , heels and toes – then you are going nowhere but down.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2004
Downloadable PDF Operationally developed
Interest in military clothing and protective equipment is fuelled by research and development in the outdoor industry. But politicians question the cost and necessity.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2004
Downloadable PDF Emergency service
For those who protect us from fire, the textile industry has produced clothing systems to rival anything found on the battlefield
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2004
Downloadable PDF A–hunting we will go.. for boots
An assessment of the most recent developments in footwear suitable for hunting
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2004
Downloadable PDF Those loadbearing-pronationreducing-heelsupporting-shockabsorbing-designintegrated
Athletic footwear becomes more complicated by the day as pedorthists and designers become aware of the myriad conditions that can affect the human foot under stress. If there’s a problem in footfall or lift-off, there will be an answer in the magical combinations of polymers and fabric that can be matched to corrective need.
WSA - Issue3 - Autumn 2003
Downloadable PDF Cool and lighter
ISPO Summer 2003 revealed a plethora of styles and innovations in performance footwear. Everything from golf to lifestyle; from athletics to skating comes under the author’s analysis of trends and specifications. Weights, colours and materials are examined in detail.
WSA - Issue3 - Autumn 2003
Downloadable PDF Stepping out
IspoWinter is as good a place as any to investigate the type of footwear that is required for the growth in Nordic walking. The latest and probably most pleasurable exercise regime requires nothing more than putting one foot in front of the other – and of course the attentions of the experts.
WSA - Issue2 - Summer 2003
Downloadable PDF 26 bones, 107 ligaments and 19 muscles
Probably the most punished part of the human anatomy, the foot plays a vital part in sports and leisure activities. Our writer seeks pedestrian perfection, offers some advice on how to obtain it, and if it’s too late suggests that footwear may provide sovereign remedies.
WSA - Issue2 - Summer 2003
Downloadable PDF Integrating high performance PU-materials into sports shoes
A presentation paper covering a vital area in sport footwear development. Impact absorption is always of great concern to athletes and activists because mismanagement of the forces involved can have a major effect on a career, enjoyment of the activity involved – or both.
WSA - Issue2 - Summer 2003
Downloadable PDF Blurring the line between function and fashion
As city life relaxes the social mores, the rules for footwear are far less rigidly applied than they were 40 years ago. Trail boots are more or less acceptable anywhere and the athletic shoe in all its forms and guises has become ubiquitous. The requirements of fashionistas are beginning to dictate what appears on the shelves of the specialist shoe stores. The technology is beginning to be hidden by the baubles and bows.
WSA - Issue2 - Summer 2003
Downloadable PDF Everest: The 50th Anniversary feature
High altitude footwear designed and developed by SATRA merits the reader’s contemporary comparison.
WSA - Issue2 - Summer 2003
Downloadable PDF Sole survivor: The Converse All Star
A phenomenon and icon of the 20th century ceased production a few years ago, the victim of an inability to apply new technology to an ageing image. One man was truly responsible for the conversion of a sneaker manufacturer into an industry-dominating force that drove basketball from Mid-West barns to international status. On the way the footwear concerned went to war (twice) and became the signature of the dropout era. Now two other men have accepted the challenge to bring those boots back into town – big time.
WSA - Issue1 - Spring 2003
Downloadable PDF To insulate or encapsulate? Is that the question?
Insulated footwear, using the latest in synthetic fibres, has a vital part to play in solving the problems inherent in low temperature operations. Phase change materials, such as Outlast and ComforTemp, offer another set of solutions. And there are always the extra possibilities in bringing the two technologies together. Hot foot from the test bed, we examine the options available to specialist footwear manufacturers. Did they suffer with cold feet in Elsinore?
WSA - Issue3 - Autumn 2002
Downloadable PDF From the grass roots up
This article reviews the state of play of golf shoes – to stick with hard or soft shoes. The professionals have proven more traditional than the amateurs who appear happy to play with soft cleats. It makes golf one of the few sports where trends have not filtered down from the best players.
WSA - Issue3 - Autumn 2002
Downloadable PDF New solution to waterproofing footwear
A lamination process for leather, developed by Italian company Nextec, provides a new solution to waterproofing. Called OutDry, the product is bonded to the back of leather and can offer important cost advantages to manufactures. What makes this innovation of importance, especially to the footwear industry, is that the waterproofing can be applied to shoe uppers after cutting.
WSA - Issue2 - Summer 2002
Downloadable PDF … a phoenix rising from the ashes
When the UK foot and mouth disease crisis truck early last year, it prompted a whole range of responses from the UK outdoor sector. While some businesses simply hoped for the best, others were more aggressive in their response to the outbreak. An example of the latter was the tent and accessory manufacturer Terra Nova, whose strategy for survival involved a completely realigned product range and a keen focus on customer support. Combined with prudent financial management, the plan not only helped the company come through the crises intact, but also had unanticipated longer-term advantages.
WSA - Issue1 - Spring 2002
Downloadable PDF Hard, fast and ignoring danger
Jai Alai, the Basque version of handball, has been described as “the fastest ball game in the world” with projectiles travelling up to 185miles per hour. Despite its European origins, the game is now extremely popular in North America. This very unusual sport is explored, tracing its roots and taking a look at associated equipment
WSA - Issue1 - Spring 2002
Downloadable PDF Design and ecology: mismatch or challenge?
When it comes to design priorities, the issue of footpath erosion has never been high on the agenda of the outsole manufacturers who choose to focus on achieving an optimum balance between durability, grip, traction and comfort. But are the performance attributes of the outsole and its impact on the environment forever destined to be mutually exclusive?
WSA - Issue1 - Spring 2002
Downloadable PDF Rubber for river rafting
When it comes to satisfying the conflicting performance requirement of whitewater sports, no other material lends itself better to footwear than good old fashioned rubber. Grippy in both wet and dry conditions, hardwearing and quick to dry, rubber continues to deliver the best all-round solution for the spectacular watersport as exemplified by the front cover of this issue. The history of rubber-based river rafting footwear is reviewed, from the earliest ‘waterdogs’ to the latest feature-packed ‘spider rubber’-based water shoes. A snapshot of the latest developments taking place in lining and upper materials technology is also provided.
WSA - Issue1 - Spring 2002
Downloadable PDF A pound on your feet (is worth five on your back)
This analysis delivers an authoritative overview of the main types of hiking boots currently available. It reviews the materials and accessories used, their functionality and the design features that make the hiking boot desirable.
WSA - Issue4 - Winter 2001
Downloadable PDF Light my way
Athletes owe more to shoe technology that they might appreciate – more stride time in the air can improve times.
WSA - Issue3 - Autumn 2001
Downloadable PDF Even Hells Angels have Soles
Mel Cheskin takes a look at the motor cyclists’ footwear market and its need for differentiation.
WSA - Issue3 - Autumn 2001
Downloadable PDF The handicap of high expectation
The tiger Woods Phenomenon may be boosting TV ratings but the game needs more new players to maintain the double digit industry growth of the 1990s.
WSA - Issue2 - Summer 2001
Downloadable PDF Looking good on a bicycle made for one or two…
One of the world’s largest cycle races highlights the demand for performance clothing and equipment around the world.
WSA - Issue2 - Summer 2001
Downloadable PDF Hot comfort
Motor sport spectators may only be there for the morbid possibilities in crash, but the race marshal’s equipment helps to keep all the thrills on the right track.
WSA - Issue2 - Summer 2001
Downloadable PDF If the shoe fits
A New Hampshire company practices practical testing and produces quantified data just like the laboratory.
WSA - Issue2 - Summer 2001
Downloadable PDF Seven doctors in a state of Shock
New springs, 17 years in development and testing at Nike’s Sports Research Lab.
WSA - Issue1 - Spring 2001
Downloadable PDF Aces on court
If you think that modern tennis is just a case of serve and cash – then take a look at the footnotes.
WSA - Issue1 - Spring 2001
Downloadable PDF Walking on water
A current survey of footwear for those who aren’t web-footed.
WSA - Issue1 - Spring 2001
Downloadable PDF Take a hike
Footwear on the trail as we take a look at origins and options.
WSA - Issue4 - Winter 2000
Downloadable PDF Exotic orthotics
And you thought walking was just a case of putting one foot in front of another.
WSA - Issue3 - Autumn 2000
Downloadable PDF Traditional “links” to the grass
The latest golf footwear technology encourages happy feet
WSA - Issue2 - Summer 2000
Downloadable PDF Super Show – ready to retire?
Focus on footwear: All is change as the Super Show prepares to move from Atlanta to Las Vegas. But the final footwear performance in the Georgia State capital might just have been a show too far…
WSA - Issue2 - Summer 2000
Downloadable PDF Steps into the millennium
A progressive look at shoe manufacturing landmarks.
WSA - Issue1 - Spring 2000
Downloadable PDF Dancing feet
A pointed review of an aspect of unusual sporting activity.
WSA - Issue1 - Spring 2000
Downloadable PDF Colour consciousness creeps into climbing
Fresh colours and fibre combinations for sports specific socks.
WSA - Issue1 - Spring 2000
Downloadable PDF Downhill all the way
One of the toughest forms of foot racing and the footwear that supports it.
WSA - Issue1 - Spring 2000

Q + A

Straight Talking From Industry Insiders
The fight against ‘human’ climate change

The fight against ‘human’ climate change

Acting chief executive of the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI), Emma Zwiebler, says that current levels of physical inactivity represent an existential threat to the industry. What did you do before joining the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI) in 2018?...