Hot Feet: Japanese Artisans Bake on Canvas Shoe Soles

Other than the materials being used, shoe manufacturing methods haven’t changed very much since the first person learned how to sew pieces of leather together in the shape of feet. Japanese sneaker company Shoes Like Pottery is revolutionizing the age-old manufacturing methods by baking on, rather than sewing or gluing on, shoe soles.

The canvas shoes keep their conventional sewn-together uppers, but the soles are – as the name suggests – baked on in a kiln, just like pottery. The rubber that composes the soles is vulcanized and permanently adhered to the uppers in an industrial kiln that reaches a temperature of 248 degrees Fahrenheit.

The shoes come out supple, flexible and extremely durable. Since each pair is created by hand in a painstaking process, they cost a fair bit more than the typical pair of canvas sneakers: $145-$195 per pair. But the great care taken in their making also ensures that you won’t have to replace them anytime soon.

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See more in Industrial Design or under Technology. April, 2012.