i’ve been looking online for a flexible material that could be heat formed for the heel counter but i havent ran into anything yet. Im in the works of making a shoe and i need to make my own counters, i made lots of shoes before but always with the counter provided by the bases, so i wanted to just make my own this time. Do you guys have any suggestion in what i could use? just wondering before i go to home depot/shoe cobbler tomorrow and hunt something down.
Do you need it to be flexible for forming, or for function? A lot of shoes have a semi-rigid thermoplastic counter. Higher end shoes have vegetable tanned leather counters.
Where are you located?
Kaufmanns in New York used to sell pre-skived thermoplastic counters that heated up and formed nicely using a heat gun- they were pretty long, though. The down-side I found with them is that they skived terribly if you needed to re-shape them for smaller shoes.
Veg-tan leather skives and forms nicely, but in an active shoe it might be susceptible to moisture without treating with some kind of sealer.
Another alternative that skives well (on a machine) and forms well is celastic- it’s a fabric with acetone soluble plastic embedded in it. It softens when soaked in nail-polish remover (it should be obvious that it must not be acetone free). I don’t know it’s current availability.
PM me if you’re still looking.