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Shoe Industry

The sole is the bottom part of the shoe. Also referred to as the “outsole” of the shoe, this is the part that comes in direct contact with the ground. Outsoles can be made of a variety of materials, including leather and rubber.

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Certain types of soles provide more traction than others, by using specific materials or designs. A ballroom dancer might prefer a shoe with a smooth leather outsole, as it’s easier to turn and glide in, while a hiker needs an sole that is thick, durable and waterproof.

The sole of the shoe is often the part that will wear out first, but some shoes can be resoled by a shoe repair shop. 1 TRENDS From stickers to paint-your-sole kits, the bottom of your footwear is now the place to customize, personalize or imitate top designers. The trend started a few years back when women realized they could emulate renowned shoe designer Christian Louboutin’s famous red soles by painting the bottoms of their shoes red with ordinary paint or nail polish. One U. K. ardware store recently reported that sales of red paint have surged 40 percent over last year, thanks to customers looking to recreate the look on lower-cost heels. Topshop Louboutin’s soles, which instantly identify the brand, have even sparked lawsuits around the world, with Louboutin trying to protect his look. Now other designers are cashing in on the trend, trying to set themselves apart by coming out with soles in their own unique colors, like designer Chloe Green’s line for Topshop this spring, which featured light green soles.

Rosso Solini. Footwear accessory brand Rosso Solini’s sole stickers are less about imitating a designer look than about standing out from the crowd. In addition to its uber-popular firetruck red, Rosso Solini offers a range of 20 stickers in animal patterns, glitter and other bright colors, like blue, which has proved to be a big hit with brides. “With Rosso Solini, people can easily make a simple shoe look more expensive, or dress up their favorite pair of old shoes,” founder Tara Haughton, 17, told TODAY. com. “You can put it on yourself, it’s easy to try and affordable. ” Haughton, who lives in Ireland, designed the stickers as part of a school project, and two years later the company has customers in 22 countries through its website, with its biggest fans in Brazil.

Haughton will mark her official U. S. debut with an appearance on QVC Sept. 4, selling her set of three instant shoe soles ($26, rossosolinishop. com). The stickers are made with 3M materials and some of the packs include a knife for cutting around the adhesive. “Personalization is becoming more and more prevalent, and in fashion in particular,” Marshal Cohen, chief retail analyst at NPD Group, told TODAY. om. “People used to be able to splurge, but with today’s economy, consumers are saying, ‘Forget that; I will just paint my soles red. ‘ In addition, people don’t necessarily want to look like everyone else. This trend toward customizing soles isn’t just about looking impressive, but about the ability to make something unique. ” SAVE YOUR SOLE For others who want a more designer look, many shoemakers in large cities like New York and Los Angeles offer the option of fitting red soles.

Or you can turn to Save Your Sole, which sells shoe soles and paint in nine colours, including cream, blue, and its ever-popular red. The soles need to be attached by a shoemaker, but the colour will last until the sole wears out, unlike paint, which can flake off after a short walk on the pavement. Save Your Sole founder Amanda Collins started the company two years ago to save her own trove of designer shoes, and quickly expanded the business, with the U. S. soon to overtake the U. K. as her biggest market.

Sales of her Red Sole Gift Set, which includes red soles, touch-up paint and a paintbrush, have increased by 25 % in the last month alone (SaveYourSole. co. uk, $45. 95). Clearly getting in on the hot trend, TODAY’s Matt Lauer shows Al Roker the bright orange soles of his shoes. In the coming months, the company will release other colors like pink and purple, and she’s now in talks with Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys and other high-end retailers about stocking her products. 2 OBJECTIVES ISSUES Every pair of Ecco’s I’ve had cracked.

I had a pair of their “dress shoes”, they were pretty bad. Also have had 3 pairs of the Ecco “Trek” shoes (goretex hiking shoes)… they cracked as well…. you can get them replaced but they do crack at about 2 years (think they’re about $75 to do so). I bought them at nordstrom, complained and they gave me a new pair though. It is a manufacture defect, not one of use (since the traction was in good condition). – Xericx I bought a pair of Ecco “City” bluchers sometime around 2002 and only wore them three or four times. Got them on sale and meant to use them in the rain or traveling.

I packed them away in their box and stored them in my closet for about four years because I didn’t like them very much. I finally got around to wearing them again. On their first day out, I noticed a funny feeling and when I checked the bottom of one of my shoes, I found that much of the heel and other parts of the sole had disintegrated into pieces, pretty much like crumbling a styrofoam cup. Weirdest thing I’ve ever seen happen to a shoe. Kind of funny to see shoes that still looked brand new, too early to really even develop significant creases, and have the sole fail like that.

Perhaps I could/should have done something else but I was so angry I tossed the shoes into the trash when I got home. – eighty-sixed Ecco’s niche is comfort. When you try them on in a store they feel great. However, the soling material that they use tends to dry out quickly. When that happens the sole cracks or disintegrates. For those with Ecco’s don’t store them above normal heat or cold. That speeds up the deteriorating process. Also, try to wear them regularly. -nick v. CONTRIBUTIONS Rocker sole shoes have long been known for their therapeutic benefits.

They can protect the heels and the balls of the feet from repetitive impact with concrete and hard surfaces. They can be helpful for those suffering from heel and arch pain. They can also be helpful for those suffering from arthritis in the big-toe-joint (hallux rigidus). They promote good posture and can improve circulation. Rocker soles tend to engage core muscles and can improve proprioception. But rocker sole shoes are not for everyone. If you have problems with vertigo or dizziness, for example, a rocker sole shoe may not be appropriate.