How are shoes made?

A shoe has to pass through many stages before it arrives on the shelves of the shoe store. Depending on the model, up to 150 work steps are needed per shoe.

Step 1 – The search for ideas

To develop a new model, the design team works together with trend experts from the industry. The colors, materials and shapes are always selected by the collection team with a view of the Solidus philosophy and they are carefully checked.

Step 2 – Sketching the upper template

Once the design modeler has a precise idea of how the new shoe should look, he will sketch it on an upper template. Upper templates are created using a last and a press. The last is placed in a press and a thin plastic sheet is inserted into a thermoforming unit. The plastic sheet is heated and molded across the last. Once the finished upper template has cooled, it can be used as the basis for design sketches.

Step 3 – Creating the shoe template

Once the design has been sketched out, the outlines are copied to create a basic model which is refined even further by the technical modeler. This basic model is then digitized by the CAD department, and the individual templates are cut on the paper cutting table. The necessary information and instructions are then compiled and passed on to production.

Step 4 – Stamping out the leather parts

Paper templates are used to create the punching knife for production. After the tools have been completed, all the leather parts are punched out. The leather parts are carefully stitched together in the stitching workshop.

Step 5 – Different construction techniques

The assembly department is where the uppers are joined to the soles. Solidus uses 2 different types of shoe construction. The inner sole is attached to the last. The upper is placed on the last and glued together in the area of the forefoot (the tip) and stapled in the area of the back foot (small nails). This type of construction is used in very robust shoes and in all shoes with separate heels. In shoes constructed using the Strobel seam the upper is sewn to the insole. A last is then slid into the upper. This type of construction is used for very flexible shoes, particularly the sporty models

Step 6 – The shoe and the sole come together

To glue the (outer) sole to the shoe, the underside of the shoe is roughened and covered with glue. The shoe is then pressed on the sole and the last is removed.

Step 7 – The quality is checked

Depending on the model, the materials are given their final finish. The Solidus insoles are slipped inside and the shoe quality is checked.

Step 8 – Shoe samples

The shoes now set out to make the rounds at trade fairs and among the dealers. Only shoes which have really interested the dealers, the design team and the final customers will go into production to make up the new season’s collection.

Sketching out ideas on the upper template
The templates are cut out at the paper cutting table
A punching knife is used to stamp out the leather parts
The underside of the shoe is roughened and covered with glue
Checking the quality of our comfort shoes