23 April 2014

In the Knew Shoe News

Spring and summer = sandals and sneakers weather. Footwear thoughts abound as Zappos, Pinterest, Ebay and such websites are browsed for the new as well as vintage. It is my seed catalog substitute.  In the Knew Shoe News will be a regular feature on this blog. Check out my Pinterest page for Footwear

I recently returned a pair of shoes thinking they were defective because the soles are partially in a material that looks like pressed cardboard. I feel there's no way a pair of athletic shoes will have fiber soles that can't possible hold up to wear and tear. Seriously. There are fiber threads sticking out of whatever those shoes were made of. While browsing Zappos today, I see similar soles on sneakers. What? Zoom on a pair to see  fiber bits like the shoes I returned! Descriptions tell me the terms being used are flexible outer sole, and the word textile. Search the Internet for: what fiber soles made of?
Results: Tuttle Law, Update on Footwear with Textile Outer Soles, March 5, 2012
My summary: rubber and plastic soles cost importers more than soles made from textile fibers. My surprise the article is dated 2012, meaning the change to footwear materials is at least 2 years old. I also found an article at SFIA (Sports & Fitness Industry Association) that states the new Tariff law went into effect on December 3, 2011. Note, there is a link on that page to the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) PDF report.

So what's going on with outer soles? Outsole is the outer part of a shoe's sole that comes in contact with the ground. See the Wikipedia article, Shoe Construction for a more detail on how shoes are made.
Wikipedia Commons Illustration
Moving on from what I see is old news, I search the Internet for: What is textile sole made from? More of the tariff news
Search: textile sole shoe material?
More of the tariff news. To page 2
New search: textile fiber sole name?
Ooo, a nifty page for FTC (Federal Trade Commission) Bureau of Consumer Protection, Threading Your Way Through the Labeling Requirements Under the Textile and Wool Acts (PDF) . Save for later
Okay, I give in to click on a PDF document, wewear.org. Up to page 7, gather terms. Save. Read later.
New search: polyester fiber outer sole
Results: first two websites are the PDF wewear document.

Right about now I begin to pray to God...I only want to know what the textile sole fibers are made of and if they are durable? No weeping yet.

So here's the thing...Is a textile sole durable enough for athletic shoes? I don't know yet. I do remember reading a review the part rubber, part textile soles were slippery for one person (no details on ground surface).
Again, an Internet search: are textile soles slippery? I find a UK article for "Classifying footwear for import and export." Great, I see the tariff number, and search for that. But, I type in 54 instead of 64, click on the first website, and what do I find? A PDF 8 page document Section XI, Chapter 54, page 338 about man made fibers. Who knew.
Back to correct tariff 64 search to the correct USITC PDF 42 page document, "2013 Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States." Save. Read later. First though, random page 32 peek...house slippers. Too late, I'm on page 35, 36...looking for a clue textile fibers are made of. Zilch. (Note to self, no reading after save for a read later.)

Have you worn textile fiber outer sole sneakers? If so, then how do they hold up? Are they slippery? Wear well? Those of  you that don't own a pair, would you buy them?
Did you know they exist before reading this post?


  1. I have never heard of them...gosh..it seems like they would have information easily available for customers...unless.....they think you might not like what you find.

    1. Hi Dee,
      I hope you are having a great week.
      The soles probably compressed with some sort of waterproofing. Its amazing the things that can be made today. I'm surprised I didn't find an article about textile soles up with the technical website stuff.

  2. Very informative post. Your post really gonna help the people like me who are looking for such terms and info.... I am glad i visited here and learned.

    Online shoes store india

  3. Hello and welcome, Brad
    Glad to be of help


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