We wear them, we buy them, we collect them, we love them, they never leave our feet, they fill our wardrobes, they go with trousers, skirts and dresses. It’s undeniable: trainers add a dose of contemporary style to our looks. So, are there any secrets hiding in the trainer production process? As with all production processes, it all starts with a lengthy thought-process and a number of steps.

The first step is to research ideas. To do this, a stylist creates a mood board. The board can feature all sorts of images, whether focused on decoration, colour, ambiance, shape, or inspiring places. From the mood board, an idea for a model is created. The stylist draws the model, notably choosing the type of leather it will be made from. The choice of leather is made during trips to trade fairs. This ‘creative’ drawing will then be worked into a more technical drawing including all model-specific information, from the colour of threads, leathers and the sole, to information on sizing and stitching.

A base pattern is made using the specification sheet and a mould in the shape of a foot. It represents the 3D form of a trainer shoe, but flat. The shoe is then ‘graded’ in all sizes. At this point, the production process can now begin. The pattern is used to cut out the leather or material sections to form the model which will later be sewn together. This constituted part is known as the ‘upper’. The shoe is then placed in an oven to soften the leather, before being slipped into an appropriately sized shoe tree so that it takes the form of the sole, which is produced in advance and tailored to the model. The next step is known as vulcanisation. Here, the sole and the upper are placed into an oven at a temperature of 150°. This softens the materials and enables both parts to be assembled together. Once removed from the oven, both parts are applied to each other and placed in a press. A trainer shoe is born!

After the initial prototype is checked and orders are placed, a production run is launched.

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