What’s inside Shoes? Shoe Reinforcements
So what is inside your shoes? A quick word about shoe reinforcements. All the parts inside footwear that you can not see but are critically import to how your shoes will look and function. The most common shoe reinforcements are the toe counter (or Puff), Vamp reinforcement, heel counter, and eyestay reinforcement.
The stiffness or softness of these shoe reinforcement parts will determine if you shoe is a pliable comfortable dress shoe or a still trail ready hiking boot.
The Toe counter or Toe Puff can me made of a non-Woven polyester fabric saturated with a heat formable plastic. The material is die cut from flat sheets to fit the shoe patterns. They are layered inside the shoe between the lining and the shoes outer material this material often has a heat activated cement on the surface.
When the shoe upper is processed during stitching,before the stroble bottom is sewn on the toe counter is heat formed. The front of the shoes is placed in a heater for a few minutes. Once the upper is clamped into a cooling fixture with shaped metal form to set the shape.
The heel counter can be made by the same process, with similar but thicker materials. for the Heel counter there are many different grades. The materials made by Texon and TecnoGi will contain heat moldable Surlyn plastic. For a better fit a shoe factory may use a 3D injected plastic part instead of the sheet cut goods. For less expensive shoes a material called chemi-sheet can be used. Chemi-sheet is a solvent activated material, it is functional but can be cracked, it cheap but not as good as the Surlyn plastic heel counters.
The eyestay reinforcing material is a called Super-Tuff. Super-tuff is often found reinforcing punched hole eyelets or riveted eyelets on shoes. This material is thin a non-woven laminated fabric that can be cut but is very difficult to tear. The name says it all!.
The vamp reinforcement is often a thin layer polyester fabric with adhesive backing. Placed on the vamp area this material will stop the wearers toe from stretching the material or even a toe nail from wearing through.
For more information check out http://www.Texon.com and www.Tecnogi.com they both make a wide range of reinforcement products for athletic and fashion shoes.