New material applications brought about by the rise of athleisure

In recent years, the influence of athleisure trends has brought in a rise in the business opportunities of the knitted sports shoe market, whether it is Gore-Tex, Sympatex or other famous European and American brands in moisture-permeable waterproof materials. Taiwan’s Lintex Watertight Co., Ltd, Shuang-Bang Industrial Corp. (products bearing the Canadian creative brand Vessi), and other manufacturers of moisture-permeable waterproof materials have also made new progress in the applications of moisture-permeable waterproof materials to outdoor shoes.

The process and raw materials adopted by various manufacturers of moisture-permeable waterproof materials are different. The purpose is to simplify the production process of outdoor waterproof shoes, providing consumers with better wearing comfort and expanding a new application in sports/outdoor shoes under the influence of athleisure trends. The following is a brief introduction of the latest use of foreign GORE-TEX and the material made by the domestic maker, LINTEX, in moisture-permeable waterproof materials.

Product evolution process of GORE-TEX 3D Fit footwear(Source: Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, 2018)

American company GORE-TEX : 3D Fit Footwear Technology

GORE-TEX 3D Fit Footwear Technology developed by Gore uses a proprietary PTFE material to produce a sock-like moisture-permeable waterproof product that can be snugly worn on foot to meet the wearer’s comfort, elastic stretch, and waterproof functions (please see Fig. 1). Overall, the advantages of GORE-TEX 3D Fit Footwear Technology include:

Flexibility: Under the influence of athleisure trends, consumers have preferred to wear knitted elastic mesh shoes. GORE-TEX 3D Fit Technology used by knitted shoes allows consumers to wear waterproof and fashionable shoes when they engage in various outdoor activities.

Comfort: GORE-TEX 3D Fit Technology has the advantage to be worn snugly on foot and provide seamless comfort.

Simplified production process: GORE-TEX 3D Fit Technology can help the shoe industry to simplify the production process as Gore can fuse the 3D, waterproof, and elastic features of the footwear lining to effectively integrate the shoe-making process, especially suitable for shoes with a primarily elastic knitted upper.

Gore’s brand partners, including Adidas TERREX series, Salomon custom-made shoes ME:sh, and Under Armour second-generation HOVR Phantom (please see Fig. 2) are all using this technology.