Shoe Voice

Materials for Design of Today’s Athletic Sneakers

Nowadays it is difficult to imagine the life of a contemporary human without at least one pair of athletic sneakers, indeed this footwear is used not so much for doing sports, but for everyday wearing. Comfortability, reliability and excellent outside appearance are those particular advantages, due to which most people prefer this type of shoes that may be worn wherever and whenever. People, who are doing sports of any kind, have a specific attitude to the sneakers, as the shoes play a key role for sportsmen and frequently it is impossible to train without this element of equipment. Then, what materials are applied for manufacturing of the athletic sneakers beloved by all of us?

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Upper part

Let’s get started by the upper part. This part of the sneakers is aimed to protect the leg, and also for fixing it on the intermediate part of the sole. For this purpose, the different combinations of the materials of natural or artificial origin are used for the manufacture of the upper part.

Nike sneakers different colors
As for materials, in the most cases follows ones are used:

  1. Natural leather. It is very durable, elastic and breathable material, which perfectly keep the shape and may become clenched or stretched that depends on the conditions of keeping.
  2. Synthetic leather. In comparison with the natural leather, synthetic analog has more solid and light structure, and also the peculiarities of stretch or by means of any other way deform due to the external actual operational circumstances.
  3. Mesh materials. Extremely light materials of synthetic origin, made of nylon or polyether fibers, providing with not only the light weight of shoes but also with an excellent air exchange inside them.

Nike shoes white model
Only three basic materials have been listed above, but each manufacturer tries to amaze consumer audience with own technological developments and produces the technologically and technically perfect fabrics or materials, which allow for best results in sewing the athletic sneakers.

Intermediate Sole

This part of the shoes is the most important element of design, because that guarantees the steadiness of the feet and also absorption of shocks and loads. In the process of manufacture the follows materials are frequently applied:


The lightest foam obtained with excellent amortization features. It is made of the EVA grains that allow forming the sole into any shape.


It is probably the densest and solid material which characterizes by high-tensile strength. Today it is less frequently applied to manufacture not only the intermediate sole but even for its major part.


The mixture of phylon and rubber by the weight is somewhere between both present materials. Most frequently it is used for the manufacture of the intermediate layer of the sole together with a half-sole, that allows increasing the elasticity of the sneakers and decrease their weight.


The cheapest foam material is characterized by extreme lightness and flexibility. In most cases, it is used for sneakers of beginner level, as the air contained in the foam is squeezed out by human weight in the process of exploitation, and after such deformation, the sole can no longer keep the initial shape.

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This part of the sneakers is responsible for adherence with different sort of surfaces and presents the first level of absorption. An enormous amount of varieties of the tread pattern allows adapting the sole to the different types of surface and loads, also to the peculiarities of definite kinds of sport.

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Today for sole design are used the follows materials:


  • BRS 1000. It is a durable material which presents the rubber of synthetic origin, interacting together with carbon. Mainly it is applied for the manufacture of the outsole for running sneakers.
  • Pure rubber. It is a mixture of several types of the natural and synthetic rubber. The most popular material is applied for the manufacture of the outsoles for shoes suited to all the types of athletic footwear. The durability and excellent adherence with any surface type are the major advantages as well as its reasonable cost.
  • Rubber composition DRC. The pure rubber with additions is the most reliable type of rubber which is totally proof. Such a mixture is used for tennis shoes and walking sneakers.
  • Duralon. One more composition of artificial rubber produced by means of a blown technology. The duralon outsole is quickly worn out but contains the air pinholes which provide shoes with an ideal amortization. This material is often applied for a toe part of the running shoes.


Nike running shoes
As you can see, nowadays there is a plurality of materials, by means of which it is possible to design the sneakers of any sort that will correspond with the needs of a sportsman or a common person who wants a comfortable pair of shoes. But from year to year, the sports technologies amaze us with new opportunities, accordingly in the next year the half of listed materials will be probably not relevant. So, follow the innovations in the design of athletic footwear and stay current on which materials will be perfectly suitable for your purposes.

This article was translated into English from

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