How Adidas Makes Shoes
Great video by Adidas showing how the Hyper Boost is made.
What is the process used to make Adidas Shoes? Most Adidas shoes are made by cold cement construction. Cold cement is the modern updated style of shoe construction. It is the opposite of the classic, high heat, vulcanized shoe construction found in Vans and Converse shoes.
Cold Cement shoe construction allows the use of modern lightweight plastic, foam, and mesh materials due to the low temperatures required for bonding the upper to the shoe sole. Every modern high-performance athletic shoe manufactured by Adidas for running, basketball, etc. is made by this cold cement process.
Every Adidas shoe from the Samba to the New Adidas Ultra Boost is made by the cold cement process. This is how Adidas makes all of its performance athletic shoes.
Cold Cement Shoe Assembly Process:
In the cold cement process, the shoe upper can be prepared with the Strobel bottom. For this running shoe, the outsole covers the edge upper so a Strobel bottom can be used to make the shoe lighter and more flexible.
The shoe upper is steamed to soften the materials, and the last is inserted and pulled tight. Once the last is tight inside the upper, a second lasting machine pulls the heel edge. Once the last is secured inside the upper and temporary shoelaces are pulled tight, the upper is cooled to shrink the upper tight to the last.
The shoe may have a plastic or fabric part installed on top of the tongue to protect the surface from damage and drift during the lasting operations.
While the upper is being lasted, the sole unit is being prepared. In this case, a rubber sheet sole is combined with the EVA foam cushioning component cemented inside. This is done in a separate process that’s called stock fitting.
Primer and Cement
Once the upper has lasted tightly, and the outside unit is complete, the two pieces come together. The rubber sole unit will receive a coating of primer and cement. The outsole will get its own special primer designed for EVA and rubber. The shoe upper is also prepared with its own special primer and cement.
After the contact cement and primer are completely dried in the heating tunnels, the two pieces are joined together by hand. A skilled worker aligns the upper and outsole together then places the shoe in a hydraulic press.
The shoe will have 3 pressing operations, usually all done with one machine. A vertical press, toe and heel press, and side pressing. This ensures there is full contact between the upper and outsole. Once the shoe is pressed together, it is often put in the cooling tunnel to set the glue.
After the cooling tunnel, a shoe de-lasting machine is used to push the last out of the shoe without wrinkling the upper.
Now the sneaker is complete. At this point, you can insert the footbed. The footbed may be molded EVA with a fabric cover or flat sheet cut foam. The flat die-cut footbed is usually cemented inside the shoe, while molded footbeds are most often removable.
The new sneaker is ready for a final QC inspection, a quick check for any loose threads, cleaning, and packing.