Taiwan – Footwear design house Maddy Plant has collaborated with BASF to create a concept shoe made entirely from the company’s sustainable materials. These include its Freeflex monofilament TPU fibre.
This lightweight fibre is used to make the upper of the Madgamma Intertekk Saturn shoe. It conforms to the foot, with minimal seams and stitch lines required. The company claims this gives superior comfort and maximum performance, and its transparency facilitates design flexibility. Freeflex also features in the tongue, knitted in combination with a PET fibre.
Another PU is used for the replaceable midsole. Elastopan N is a lightweight, bio-based PU with high rebound, giving good cushioning and durability along with greater sustainability. An alternative replaceable midsole option is made with TPU foaming, with a lower density, high energy return. This is recyclable. The company suggests the former is better for sports performance, and the latter for casual wear.
Elastopan PU is used to make the outsole and cage. The outsole includes a high-grip tread pattern to optimise traction, and give maximum surface contact. This has 20% bio-content.
Another TPU, Elastollan N TPU 35% bio-content is used for the shank. Here, the company says, it offers good stiffness, and complements high-performance sports shoe components, including the torsion system for improved stability.
‘The concept shoe features our winning ideas to make footwear sustainable and at the same time high performing,’ said Minli Zhao, Asia Pacific VP for consumer industry at BASF Performance Materials. ‘Our ambition is to bring these advanced technologies into mainstream footwear production.’