Shoe Vulcanizing

i put this in the process thread, but not many ppl seem to look at there, so im trying here to see if i can get some more luck.

My friend has to write a report on the matter and i’ve tried helping him look everywhere for it, and cant find anything on it, i found some patents, but they were not for the same thing we were looking for. We are trying to find the process that goes into vulcanizing a skate shoe(vans/converse for example), if anyone could dish out any help that would be great!

I work with vulcanized shoe production throughout south east asia and i can tell you that each factory regards their process as top secret and you will be lucky to find a definitive resource on the subject.

My knowledge, prior to visiting the factories and building a best practice document for my developers was based upon the exploration of patents and old shoe making books (you can find extracts of these on google books).

a quick search on flickr, and i found this photo stream. it starts with the most important picture…i dont know who the photographer is.


hope this sets you on your way.



thanks for the photo stream, sewing army attack! lol. I didnt know that it was still such a secret, I guess they have gotten new technologies into it, i did read a couple of online patents, but what they seemed to explain was vulcanizing the rubber for workboots and didn’t have anything to do with similar shoes to converse. I’m not really hoping for exact textbook step by step guide, just something simple enough that a regular person reading a magazine should understand the basic concept without knowing the exact amount of contents or procedures to do it himself. something along the lines of discovery channel “how its made”.

Again thanks for the help.

I must say I had never heard of vulcanization prior to to viewing your article. I must say though there is a vast number of topics on the process. In essence it is a chemical process for converting rubber or related polymers into durable materials. Tires, shoe soles, hoses and hockey pucks are vulcanized. The name vulcanize is named after Vulcan, Roman god of fire. Hard vulcanized rubber is used to make bowling balls and clarinet mouth pieces.

Charles Goodyear by accident in the mid 1800’s, a google searching will dig up a pretty interesting history.