Dressing as per the occasion and finding exclusive, superior quality accessories that not only match well but give excellent results has become mandatory. This holds true especially in case of shoes. In consideration of this, the significance of sports shoe increases manifold, as these are not only aesthetically vital, but also, necessary with regard to keeping feet healthy. Thus, wearing sports shoes that are uncomfortable or give the wearer smelly feet are a big no-no. Thanks to the innovations in textile sector that the shoes manufactured today are comfortable and give splendid results including little or no sweat, flexibility and are aesthetically pleasing. The addition to the distinguished qualities of sports shoes are ever expanding, as the textile sector goes through changes at every step. The most recent addition to the sports shoes is woollen running sneakers.


This new entrant in sports shoes gives an assurance of being gentle on feet throughout the running or jogging or hiking. The list of improvements that the woollen running sneakers carry is infinite. The company from New Zealand that has given a shape to the idea of making sneakers with wool is the first company to do so. And as it appears, wool has proven to be an immaculate fabric choice to make running shoes. These sneakers are endowed with all the qualities that wool fabric has. These shoes have utilised mid-micron New Zealand sheep wool that keeps away sweat, controls odour, regulates temperature and is stain resistant. Wool is also a sustainable and eco-friendly material. Another plus point is that the wearer does not need to wear socks with the woollen running sneakers. Apart from being light weight, these shoes can easily be washed in the washing machine like regular woollen products as well.


It is pertinent to note that wool is not a very sturdy material to be used for a task as rough as running. But, the recently made woollen running shoes have been created with double-layered wool knit. This product weaves together wool fibres, melt-bond fibres, and multifilament yarn to form a knitted fabric. This wool knit is soft enough to wear against skin on the inside, and it is also resistant to dirt from the outer surface. The upper layer is extremely enduring and it is also seamless, which gives the same feeling and comfort as wearing socks. These sneakers are not highly priced and a single pair costs only $ 98. These shoes have been styled to look casual, following which, these sneakers can be worn not only for the purpose of running, but also as part of a causal hangout.


It is being estimated that this new product will also benefit the farmers i.e. the sheep rearing farmers of the New Zealand. With the initial demand of wool runners taking the shoe industry by storm, New Zealand farmers will have enough work to provide the raw material to the manufacturers. The global footwear industry is not very sustainable and unfortunately, even though approximately 230 billion pairs of shoes are sold annually, most of the running shoes tend to be uncomfortable. The woollen running sneakers are a solution to the problems that have not been addressed as yet. The initial campaign launched for woollen sneakers registered huge success. The shoes are custom designed and have been given a reflective tongue panel, these properties make these sneakers unique.


 

Nevertheless, the debate regarding these sneakers doing what they claim with regard to comfort to feet is going on. The final word would come only when these sneakers are sold out all over the world including developing countries. The eco-friendly nature, attractive design and properties of wool have imparted these sneakers a characteristic that is unique, thus, the demand will escalate once the good word goes out regarding these sneakers.


The shoes are currently being produced in Portugal, as the cost of production is much reasonable in Portugal in comparison to New Zealand. Portugal is also a lot closer to the major potential markets of European Union. Unlike research and development, which has been undertaken in New Zealand, the manufacturing of these sneakers is a mechanical process, and thanks to global economy that this process can be completed at lower cost in Portugal.


Meanwhile, the research and development team of the woollen running sneakers is also working on a concept that would allow customers to scan their feet using their mobile phones. This scan will be used as a 3D model that would help the manufacturers provide the customers better fitting shoes. Eco-friendly, odour proof, washable, comfortable, sockless, dirt and water resistant, all these properties are available in a single product, thus making it extra special. And considering these properties it is nothing less than a surprise that wool was never considered as an option make sockless, stain proof and smell proof sports shoes!


The textile world is constantly evolving and this progress has been a boon for not only garment industry, but also footwear industry. The woollen running sneakers have paved way for fresh ideas that can improve the customer satisfaction to multiple degrees.




References:


1. Runoregonblog.com

2. Stuff.co.nz

3. Ecouterre.com

4. Fashionunited.co.uk