Assembly Footwear

Walking boldly towards innovation in footwear adhesive solutions

 2021-02-27       262

Through technological advancements and in response to the consumers’ evolving lifestyles, footwear today offers more than just protection in every step. Shoes are now designed to unlock the highest levels of athletic performance, track fitness and evaluate health metrics, and more comfort.

Footwear manufacturers develop more advanced footwear using progressive materials through modern production processes. What used to be a basic stacking of components has now become a more intricate procedure of fitting layers upon layers of a variety of materials together. The goal is not only to ensure proper form but to also promote maximum comfort and optimal performance.

Some of the focus points that footwear manufacturers deal with today include heel strengthening, vamp reinforcement, and sock and sole lining. If these sound too technical and advanced, it’s precisely because they are, which just show how complex footwear assembly has become. 

The rising degree of difficulty in producing modern footwear comes as a result of a thriving industry with a market that always wants more. A study1 revealed that the global footwear market size was valued at $365.5 billion in 2020 and is estimated to reach $530.3 billion by 2027 with a CAGR of 5.5% from 2020 to 2027.

Meanwhile, in the race for the title of the world’s footwear production capital, no other region comes close to Asia Pacific (APAC). Numbers2 show that the region dominates the field and accounts for over 75% of global output as of 2019. In fact, of the world’s top 10 leading footwear producers, four are from APAC, including India. According to a study3, the manufacturing giant produces close to two billion pairs per year. 

These numbers speak for themselves. Not only does the footwear assembly market project tantalising figures, but the biggest business opportunity lies in the APAC region. As a leading global adhesive specialist for industrial, construction, and consumer markets, Bostik remains committed to developing innovations to help industries evolve, and that includes the footwear assembly market. 

Shoes have a special footing in Bostik’s storied 130-year history. The company was founded in 1889 as the Boston Blacking Company, a producer of leather colourings and dyes for the shoemaking industry. In the 1960’s, the company took on the Bostik name, and has since been offering innovative adhesive solutions for different industries and applications.

Traditional and modern adhesive solutions

Today, Bostik’s product range for the growing footwear assembly industry includes traditional items like solvent-based solutions, as well as newer technologies like water-based and hot melt solutions. 

Bostik’s traditional solvent-based solutions provide strong bonds for a variety of materials and remain as the company’s top product line in the footwear assembly market in India. Meanwhile, as more OEMs are outsourcing from the country, Bostik is also seeing a demand surge for water-based solutions. These products, along with hot melt solutions, continue to gain a strong foothold with running and sports shoe manufacturers in the US and Europe. 

The company’s traditional solvent-based solutions provide strong bonds for a variety of materials and remain as the top product line of Bostik in the footwear assembly market in India. Meanwhile, water-based and hot melt solutions are gaining a strong foothold with running and sports shoe manufacturers in the US and Europe.

Bostik’s smart solutions provide a high degree of bond strength to resist numerous repetitions of bending, straightening, compressing, recovering, rubbing, and friction. The bond strength is also designed to withstand rain, snow, wind, ultraviolet light, temperature changes, and other elements to which the shoe will be exposed to.

Four core traits of smart adhesive solutions

There are four main qualities that characterise Bostik’s adhesives solutions for footwear assembly: safer, flexible, efficient, and responsive.

The solutions are made safer, as Bostik applies innovative technologies on its smart adhesives to meet regulatory compliance and address sustainability and environmental challenges. The innovations are designed to be efficient as well to enable shoe manufacturers achieve the highest levels of performance and quality while reducing costs and improving productivity.

Flexibility is another key point of Bostik’s smart adhesive solutions for footwear assembly. The high-performance properties of smart bonding innovations allow shoe manufacturers to adapt to all kinds of surfaces and materials and perform in the most demanding conditions. 

Lastly, Bostik’s smart solutions ensure responsiveness by combining superior bonding performance and functionality to meet the ever-changing and increasingly complex requirements of the shoe manufacturing environment.

By developing smart solutions specifically designed for the evolving industry, Bostik is in a unique position to shape the future of footwear assembly adhesives. In this race that the company leads, there is no definite finish line. The only goal is to continuously help improve manufacturing processes and improve overall end-use footwear performance, one step at a time.