Need explanation

Hi all,

I wanted to know if anybody could help me on this :

How do you produce the outsole in different sizes ?

Do you have a mold for each size ? (which must be really expensive)
Or is there a special techniques to simply scale the outsole?

Thanks to anybody that could help me out



Yes there is a mold for each size - occasionally you might get a mold for every two sizes depending on the design.

Sometimes there is a mold for every half size. Then multiply that by 2 to get left and rights! Mold costs are very expensive. The lower(smaller) the mold, the cheaper, which is why the Marc Newson designed shoe is soooo expensive. The whole shoe is a giant 6 part mold, and each peice has its own set of molds!

There is a way to get around all of this. It is called cut and buff construction. Essentially layers of foam are laminated to a sheetstock (molded in a gian sheet) rubber outsole. They are then die cut and the hand buffed. Its way cheaper, but limiting. Puma often uses this method, Nike and Adidas used it a lot in the 80’s.

Its funny, you now see a lot of brands doing a cut and buff look but by molding it, like these Cole Haan’s

i have seen/heard it that to absorb the cost of expensive molds the outsoles are used in more than one design in a product line

Its funny, you now see a lot of brands doing a cut and buff look but by molding it

why if the cut & buff is so much more inexpensive, is there a benefit to molding it?

Often the outsoles, and even midsoles will be used across a collection of products and across several seasons. Companies good at this include Diesel and Puma. Nike and Adidas are pretty bad about doing this. Sometimes lack of money forces a company to be more stategic. Many fashion brands do this as well. Prada rocks outsoles for years. It forces you to do it right and put a lot of thought/time into it.

The cut & buff look happens to be in right not. The benifits of molding it for the look are: 1. You can cup the heel more locating the foot solidly. 2. The molded foam self skins providing a more uniform looking surface that does not absorb water (the cut and buff EVA’s absorb water like a mother). 3. you can get side detail (cole haan will usually mold there name into the side ot something, if you cut and buff this is not possible)

thanks! seems to me the cool thing about kicks are there are so many ways/process to achieving a particular look, function, etc.

Thx everybody for the precious answers.

I really appreciate your help.