Materials that keep
their promise: For us,
an important manufacturing criterion.
Best materials for durability and an optimal climate for the foot.
From leather to shoelace, we always choose our materials carefully and use them thoughtfully. In doing so, we always keep an eye on what the material has to achieve and whether the costs and benefits are in the right proportion. Wherever possible, our shoemakers work with especially sustainable materials.
Always exactly the right materials for our models of shoe.
Which materials do we prefer and what they can do? Here’s a short overview for all those who want to know more.
Especially sustainable materials – we use them whenever the requirement for the model of shoe allows it:
VIOS-compliant leather is manufactured according to the strictest criteria in a resource-saving way and without questionable additives or dyes: chrome-free, with only natural colours and environmentally friendly materials. For VIOS-compliant material, we only work with partner companies and production facilities that are committed to the strict criteria of the VIOS Restricted Substance List (RSL), whose limits go far beyond minimum legal requirements. We pay particular attention to environmentally friendly production and the shortest possible transport routes within the supply chain. After all, we want to keep our CO2 footprint as low as possible everywhere.
For our shoelaces made from natural raw materials, we work with TencelTM. These laces made from wood fibres and with 100% cellulose tips are completely biodegradable. TencelTM shoelaces are produced sustainably and ecologically and are therefore also particularly skin-friendly.
Every year, 12 million tons of plastic are dumped in our oceans. The SEAQUAL INITIATIVE, in cooperation with local fishermen, NGOs and volunteers, removes the plastic from the sea and cleans the beaches. The SEAQUAL INITIATIVE uses this plastic to produce materials that are used in many areas. For example, the plastic waste is processed into flakes from which pellets are made. These are then processed into a durable yarn. Together with specially selected suppliers, we use this yarn to produce wonderfully soft, breathable textiles for our shoes.
Our upper materials at a glance:
Nappa leather or nappa is the general term for soft leather made from the hides of various animals and processed with the grain side facing outward. It’s a full grain, high quality, smooth leather. Nappa leather is particularly breathable, snug and moulds to the foot perfectly. It absorbs body moisture and naturally regulates the climate for the foot. Nappa leather was originally just the name for glove and clothing leather, named after Napa Valley in the USA. The leather was known for its special softness. Today, however, it’s a collective term for particularly supple smooth leather of all animal species and for a wide variety of uses.
We not only use textile for our shoe linings, but also value it as a material for uppers. For our casual shoes, for example, we find materials like linen, loden, cotton or viscose as well as polyamide or polyester particularly exciting. The pictogram in our shoes quickly tells you what fabric the upper is made of.
Full-grain leather that has been slightly abraded on the outer (grain) side is referred to as nubuck. This grain side is lightly sanded, giving it a velvety character with a brilliant sheen. It is particularly fine and high quality, but also more sensitive to dirt. When the underside is used, it’s called suede. No scarring is visible here. Good to know: in common terms, suede is also often referred to as buckskin. However, this term is misleading as it refers only to skins of animals living in the wild such as elk, deer or roe deer.
Our lining materials at a glance:
We don’t just use leather for uppers. It also makes its mark as a lining with many good properties. It’s kind to the skin, breathable, supple, elastic, keeps its shape and is strong. It also absorbs sweat and moisture excellently and transports them away from the foot without moisture forming in the shoe. By the way, leather is the only material that can absorb up to 30% water. However, leather that’s become wet should be carefully dried. Leather is well suited for preventing sweaty feet. It also has a temperature-balancing effect: it warms in the cold and cools when it’s hot.
Unlike natural materials such as leather, synthetic linings don’t absorb much water. Polyester manages only 0.5% of its own weight, polyamide between 3 and 8.5%. However, synthetic materials withstand high stress, they dry quickly and are very easy to clean.
Cotton, viscose and terry towelling are the most important examples here for us. Cotton is not only organic and breathable, but also keeps the shape of the shoe with regular wear. Similar to cotton, viscose is an important example of lining material and is particularly absorbent. For the feet, it offers a high level of hygienic comfort. In our summer shoes we also often use linen and bamboo as the basis for lining material. The air permeability of the material quickly wicks away moisture and thus has a cooling effect on the foot. For our winter shoes we like to use linings made from wool or lambskin because they keep the warmth in the shoe while absorbing a lot of moisture without feeling damp. If you your feet tend to be damp, avoid shoes made of purely synthetic materials such as polyamide, polyester, polyacrylic or spandex, as these don’t absorb moisture that accumulates in the shoe.
Integrated between the upper and the lining, GORE-TEX has excellent functional properties. It’s waterproof and windproof but allows water vapour (body moisture) to escape, making it breathable. This keeps the feet dry and creates a pleasant climate for the foot. The GORE-TEX membrane contains microscopic pores that are 20,000 times smaller than water droplets but 700 times larger than water vapour molecules. This prevents water from the outside penetrating the shoe while moisture from the feet can easily escape through the pores. And that’s precisely where the major advantage lies compared to rubber boots, which are undoubtedly waterproof. GORE-TEX footwear regulates the temperature and the release of moisture, which provides a pleasant, dry feeling.