What Materials Are Sneakers Made Out Of? Your sneakers are so comfortable, and with all of that comfort you may be wondering what materials are used to make sneakers so soft. There are three different components of your great fitting sneakers.
Let's start with the base of the sneaker or the bottom sole. This is the part of your sneaker that actually touches the ground while you are going through your everyday activities—walking, running or just tapping your toe to some great music. Generally speaking, the bottom sole of your sneaker is made out of different types of rubber depending on the athletic sport you are going to enjoy. Depending on the physical activity you are engaged in, you'll want a good solid bottom sole made of any one of a number of different rubbers or rubber compound materials.
- Solid rubber is the material most used in the bottom soles of sneakers. Solid rubber won't leave marks on floors and is very supporting when enjoying indoor sports like basketball and volleyball. Solid rubber also gets great traction on solid wood flooring.
- Gum rubber is another compound material used in some sneakers for the bottom soles. Gum rubber is a great mix of natural and synthetic rubber, and it has a soft spongy look. Gum rubber is usually yellow in color and is a very cushioning material for your sneakers. Gum rubber is very popular in track and running sneakers.
- Different compounds and chemicals are added to natural rubber to form tougher bottom soles for some sneakers. Carbon is one compound that is added to rubber to make it longer lasting and much more durable. A carbon and rubber combination makes your sneaker's bottom soles work great while engaging in outdoor sports. This rubber and carbon compound gives better support and traction when enjoying activities on rougher surfaces such as an outdoor concrete basketball court. Carbon and rubber sneaker soles can leave black scuff marks on indoor hardwood floor surfaces however.
The middle sole of your sneaker is another part of your sneaker that primarily protects your foot. The middle sole cushions your foot and provides you with the comfort you need to succeed. If your middle sole doesn't fit properly or isn't made of comfortable inner materials, you won't enjoy your sneakers very long. Your middle sole is the heart of your sneaker and your feet will tell you very quickly if you have on the wrong pair of sneakers.
- Polyurethane is a very popular material for the manufacturing of the middle sole of your sneaker. Polyurethane is poured into a mold and becomes a very solid material that helps cushion the impact of running and jumping. Polyurethane is a great material for the middle sole of your sneaker. You will notice that polyurethane turns yellow with age.
- Foam pellets are also used in the manufacturing of the middle sole in some sneakers. Foam pellets can be molded into any size and shape and make a very comfortable and cushioning middle sole. You'll know that your middle sole of your sneaker is made from these melted foam pellets by the light creases and lines in the finished material.
- Many manufacturers of fine sneakers make their middle soles from a combination of rubber and foam pellets that are injection molded into their sneakers. This injected material is light in weight and makes your sneakers feel as light as a feather when you are wearing them.
- Sheets of foam can be cut for middle sole sneaker material also. Foam material doesn't hold its support long and is usually found in the most basic and least expensive styles of sneakers.
The upper part of the sneaker is where the shoe laces and the distinct look of each manufacturer's unique design is most evident. Special colors and company logos along with trademark protected differences make each sneaker identifiable to its own manufacturer.
- The upper part of sneakers are usually made of canvas, leather and synthetic leather. Mesh material is also used in some quality made sneakers.