Over the last days we have been talking about the importance of the shoe last when designing new shoes for cabin crews, as they have to be both elegant and confortable. However, these two features are not the only ones that a flight attendant asks to her/his shoes. The shoes are an aesthetic element as well as a working tool, and the cabin crew members will use them intensively. The usage of the shoes will cause a big wear on them, this is why an essential quality that people demand to a shoe designer is durability.
Nevertheless, durability is a difficult attribute to prove a priori, as you can only notice it after some time of usage, when any deficiency or defect don’t have a solution. For this reason we would like to explain here, in a concise way, which are the most important elements that have an influence in the durability of a good cabin crew shoes.
The design and the manufacture of a shoe is a complex work. The task is compound of multiple processes that require expertise and specialized hands. It needs a great variety of components and materials (for instance, a shoe for cabin crews has around fifteen different parts and they go through more than twenty production stages), being all them very important for its durability. Without going very technical, we would like to inform you about the most decisive parts and the ones that we concentrate to achieve a durable, long lasting and resistant shoe:
- The shoe cut and lining it has to be always made by leather (never synthetic), but it cannot be any leather. It exists several types of leather and different qualities and finishings. Everybody should run away of the cheap ones, as they will never achieve the appropriate quality: we should all use leathers that are not too thin or too thick; they should be flexible enough to adapt to the feet shape, but not too soft otherwise they can bend and ease, provoking the shoe loss.
- As important as this, is the expertise in the different manufacturing stages. For example: in a certain moment the shoes have to be put inside an oven with the shoe last inside, so that it reaches the exact shape and get defined. If the process is made inaccurately, the leather can be burnt and the result will be a defective shoe that will brake in a short period of usage.
- The shoe sole. In order to have a quality and resistant shoe sole, it has be made of leather or rubber. The leather sole, by contrast, it is generally used for dressing shoes, but is not appropriate in cabin crew shoes, where the rubber sole is preferred, as it has better features such as flexibility, adherence and resistance. It exists a lot of leather and rubber imitation soles, but they have low quality and will make the shoe to wear very fast, or even break it after a short time.
- The heel. From a manufacturer side, it exists a tendency to use pvc painted heels, imitating different natural heels drawings, but this practice goes against shoes durability, as the painting disappears after fews days of usage. We prefer the ABS heels (a material much more resistant than PVC) lined in the natural leather sole. Do not forget that the heel is a key element, as it gives the balance to the shoes. Therefore if this is wasted or broken or bended, the shoe is not longer useful.
- The sole. The pump shoes is made of two different soles; the “mounting part” and the “over-sole”. The first one is invisible, as it goes under the second one, but it is extremely important because it gives the resistance of the shoe. It is like saying that it is the structure of the shoe, so it is top priority that it is made of a strong and resistant material, specially in the arch part and the heel. The front part has to be flexible, as the toes lean there. A quality sole, as our shoes all have, give resistancy to the shoes in front of long journeys of usage, as well as the necessary comfortability.
There are of course much more components and important processes to make a resistant and long lasting cabin crew shoes, as the sticker that is used to stick the cut to the sole, or the quality of the sewings of the cut, or the resistance of the buttress that avoids the deformation of the forefoot, etc. there so many that it would be very long to describe them in this post.
What we would like to communicate are the general features of the elements that differentiate good flight attendant shoes with mediocre ones, so you have an objective criteria when you will chose your own shoes.