Have you ever wondered what the symbols on the soles of your shoes stand for? They are there to make your life easier in choosing the perfect pair of shoes that will suit your needs best. Not all of us are experts in distinguishing materials from which our footwear is made of and a little sticker is there to save the day. All footwear sold in the EU must, by law, have this indication of the materials it is made of. Usually it will be on the symbol sticker or embossing.
Learn what the symbols on your shoes really stand for
The little drawing of the shoe will determine the part which we are talking about. That usually will be one of three main parts: upper, lining and sock, and outsole.
Upper would be what caught your eye first, beautiful exteriors of your shoe that would be visible when worn.
Lining and sock (or insole) is what is in contact with your foot. Insides which are extremely important to make sure you`re comfortable when walking.
Outsole (and heel) is what is touching the ground and protecting the sole of your foot.
Now to the materials.
LEATHER – indicated with a symbol of a leather hide. Leather is possibly the best material to cover your feet. First, it lets your skin to breath naturally and allows for perspiration of moisture which prevents appearance of bad odor and bacteria. Leather has an ability to adapt to your foot shape, it can stretch to fit your feet like a glove while being able to give proper support them at the same time. If taken good care of, leather can last much longer than other materials even if met with rain or dirt. It can be used for all parts of the shoe including the outsole and stack leather heels. Sometimes is indicated by ‘genuine leather’ or ‘vero cuoio’ (in Italian shoes) embossed on the bottom of outsole.
TEXTILE – indicated by a patch of woven fabric. Textile symbol can indicate both woven as well as knitted fabrics used for making of the uppers or linings. Textiles, similarly to leather allow your feet to breath and perspire. Material is usually thinner than leather and allows for use of various prints and different textures depending on the weave. Textile shoes are less durable however most of the times they are washable. They are perfect for your lightweight trainers and summer espadrilles.
OTHER MATERIALS – indicated by the diamond sign. Other materials can mean everything from PVC, PU for uppers to neolith, rubber, cork and wood if used for outsoles and heels. When used for uppers PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and PU (polyurethane) could be called ‘synthetic leather’ or ‘leather look material’ because they would be embossed to imitate genuine leather. Although might look very similar at the first glance, these man made materials do not have the same attributes as genuine leather. Their structure usually doesn’t allow skin to breath freely which makes feet sweat and might cause bad odor; however, it also makes them waterproof. Uppers in these materials would break after a while which might cause chipping of the top layer of material. When used for outsoles other materials can be used to add specific qualities to the shoe, i.e. Light natural look of cork, warm stability of wood, extra grip of rubber outsole.Guest blog by [ Avalen – Dots Dash ] (Previously released at www.dotsdash.com)
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