by Susan Reed
Elastomeric Material Solutions
Technology is moving at a rapid pace and consumers are constantly in search of the latest in innovation. This is true for the latest electronics and, yes, even shoes. When it comes to footwear, comfort, style, and functionality remain important, but people are also looking for the latest features that technology can offer. Consumers are looking for different and additional benefits from their shoes, from smart shoes that measure one’s activity, to materials that allow for elevated protection from electrical hazards, waterproofing, durability, support and rebound technology, slip resistance and more. Footwear manufacturers understand this and are looking to leverage the latest technologies to keep up with the ever-evolving needs of their customers.
At Rogers, we are listening to the market by providing a steady stream of new products designed to stay on top of constantly changing design needs. For example, materials that are optimal for trail running will not translate to the protection needed for work boots. Our long history of providing the innovative products necessary to support the evolving needs of the successful footwear manufacturer have helped us to bring to market lighter, more durable, and functionally flexible materials for multiple uses.
Thin and lightweight options like PORON® and XRD® technologies are durable without adding unnecessary mass and yet provide years of comfort and protection that do not deteriorate over time. All PORON® Formulations maintain at least 90% (in most cases up to 98%) of their original thickness and shape to ensure a consistent fit over the footwear lifecycle.
For the workplace and the military, a boot that is heavier in the toe area causes larger muscles to compensate for the uneven weight distribution and could lead to symptoms including shin splints and soreness. Advances in protective technologies, like the composite alternatives to steel toe-caps and the XRD® M-Guard for metatarsal protection help evenly balance the design.
The athleisure trend has brought more athletic styling into designs of footwear across categories. Integral to a classic athletic shoe design is the midsole for improved cushioning and stability during sport activities. In work boots, the same benefits can be realized from incorporating midsoles into more traditional designs. Midsoles typically use commodity materials that are prone to deterioration after relatively short durations, if not properly protected. Adding a high performing cushioning layer between midsole and foot, such as PORON® Vive in the strobel layer, can extend the useful life of a midsole to keep it at top performance longer.
Trends are constantly evolving, usually in lock step with advances in technology. At Rogers, we are laser-focused on not only keeping up with the needs and wants of the consumer today but also anticipating their future requirements and adjusting our product line accordingly. For footwear, this means offering manufacturers the materials they need to produce the best in cutting-edge design. The customer demands it and at Rogers we are committed to delivering it.
Published on Dec 19, 2019