Essential Materials With Which Nike Shoes are Made
Essential Materials With Which Nike Shoes are Made
Due to the negative and harmful aftereffects of using plastic and a range of other pollution causing substances in fashion are becoming increasingly common, a lot of sports clothing brands have stopped using environmentally harmful materials and removed them from their production lines. Nike is one such contemporary leading clothing and shoe wear giant that is evidently working on changing its operating system.
As a reputable company and leading brand, Nike is taking all the steps to ensure an ethical production line. Its manufacturers, retailers, brands, partners, chemical suppliers, and technical experts are chosen meticulously for their dependable ethical practices and eco-friendly stewardship. A trip to their manufacturing headquarters provides an in-depth insight into what materials are used to make Nike shoes.
Materials Nike Uses to Make its Shoes
Nike uses a lot of different materials to produce its shoes. Still, typically there are a few core materials that are primarily used. If you wish to know what materials are used to make Nike Shoes, then keep reading.
Rubber is one of the most essential materials that Nike uses to produce its shoes. In fact, Nike prefers to use ecological rubber. Approximately 70% or more of Nike shoes are now making use of environmental favored rubber.
This ecological favored rubber was introduced in 2002 by Nike, and completely altered the rubber that is produced by including vegetable oils and gentle accelerators. Rubber is used widely in the shoe soles.
Millions of Nike shoes are equipped with rubber soles that come from different rubber pressing factories. These few factories are the only ecologically friendly means of recycled rubber on earth. They enable Nike to formulate its own kind of rubber made with vegetable oil instead of toxins and artificial oils.
This particular rubber further modifies the processing of shoes. Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia are some of the leading manufacturers of rubber across the globe. 2
Eva foam is a highly environmental-friendly and vital substance used in the production of shoes and apparel. The majority of the manufacturers of Eva Foam are found in China. Eva is an abbreviation for Ethylene Vinyl Acetate. Eva Foam is indeed a very cheap and efficient material used widely in producing Nike shoes.
This man-made substance is specially created as an ecologically safe substitute for PVC. Eva foam is typically used for creating the padding of the shoe sole. It is also increasingly being used worldwide by all the factories.
Synthetic and Vegan Leather
Synthetic leather is another widely used material that Nike often uses in its product range, including shoes. Synthetic leather is basically artificial leather and fabric created by man. It is created to feel and look exactly like real leather. However, synthetic leather is designed to function much better than real leather.
Nike incorporates synthetic leather in a wide array of its products because it costs a lot less than real leather. Also, synthetic leather is much more breathable and very simple to clean. Taiwan and China supply synthetic leather all over the world in significant quantities.
Quite surprisingly, another material that is used by Nike in large quantities is vegan leather. Nike vegan leather is produced with the utmost care and precision for a variety of purposes. Nike is not unaware of alternatives for leather. Instead, the brand has been using artificial leather in its sneakers for several years due to low prices and similar properties.
However, since the artificial leather was acquired from contaminating gums and were later melted to turn to plastic, the company has substituted it with vegan and environment-friendly leather type substances.
A Step-by-Step Procedure on How Nike Shoes are Made
The majority of Nike shoes are produced via the cold cement construction process. For instance, shoe cement is just plain PU glue. The shoe cement or PU glue is basically water-based or solvent. Usually, all sports shoes are cemented. If you wish to learn how shoes are designed, you need to first understand the basic process of shoemaking.
Cold cement technique is the contemporary style of constructing a shoe. The Converse and Vans shoes apply a conventional technique for producing footwear, where they use the high temperature vulcanized shoe creation method.
However, Nike uses the cold cement construction method for creating shoes. This enables them to use the latest lightweight foam, plastic, and mesh components because of the cold temperatures needed to connect the upper with the shoe's sole.
All the latest, high-performing sports and athletic shoes that Nike manufactures for basketball, running, etc. are made using the cold cementing process. This also includes each Air Jordan basketball shoe for the Jordan 1-30+.
The Process of Cold Cementing Nike Shoes
The upper of the shoe can be prepared with the Strobel's bottom in the cold cementing process. The outsole tops the corner upper in a traditional jogger, so a Strobel bottom can be used for making a sneaker flexible and light.
In the first step, steam is applied to the upper so that materials soften up. The last is then placed and tightly pulled. After the last is inserted tightly in the upper, another lasting machine is used to pull the heel edge.
Finally, when the last is securely placed inside the upper and provisional laces are pulled tightly, the upper must be cooled to shrink tight to the shoe's last. The shoe might have a shoe fabric or plastic incorporated at the tongue to keep the surface from getting damaged or shifting during the last operation stages.
While the upper gets lasted, the sole unit is being readied. The rubber sheet sole is amalgamated with Eva foam supportive component that is cemented inside. This is fulfilled in an individual process that is called stock fitting.
Application of Primer and Cement
Once the upper has tightly lasted, and the external unit is fully complete, the 2 parts will be joined. Next, a coating of primer and cement is applied to the rubber sole unit. The outsoles receive a layer of special primer for the rubber and EVA. Even the shoe's upper is readied with its unique coat of primer and cement.
After the primer and cement have dried thoroughly in the heating tunnels, the two parts are joined further by using a hand. The skilled workforce at Nike joins the outsole and the upper together. Lastly, the shoe is passed in a hydraulic press.
The Three Pressing Operations
The shoes will undergo three pressing operations that are typically performed with one machine. The three pressing actions are toe and heel press, vertical press, and side press. This makes sure that there is a complete connection between the outsole and the upper. After the shoe undergoes pressing, it is placed in the cooling tunnel so that glue can set.
After this step, a shoe de-lasting machine is used for pushing the last out without causing any wrinkles on the upper. This final process completes the sneaker. This is the point where you can place the footbed. The footbed might be fitted EVA with flat sheet slashed foam or a fabric wrapping.
The flat sheet footbed is typically cemented in the shoe, whereas the fitted footbeds can be removed. The sneaker is now ready for a final quality control inspection and should be checked if there is a need for any cleaning, loose threads, or packing,