SGS, the world’s leading provider of testing and certification services, offers a comprehensive range of testing services to help manufacturers develop high quality and compliant footwear products for markets all over the world.
An important aspect of footwear is comfort but that does not just mean softness. SGS’s testing capabilities cover all aspects of comfort, including:
SGS is taking this holistic approach to shoe comfort testing at a time when more and more people are buying their shoes online and are therefore unable to consider whether a shoe is ‘comfortable’ before they buy.
The average human walks around the Earth four times in their life (115,000 miles). The shoes we wear are therefore important to us and, as a population, we are willing to spend considerable sums on buying fashionable and comfortable shoes. This is demonstrated by the fact the average consumer spends USD 277.09 on shoes in the US, the world’s largest apparel market.
Shoes that are uncomfortable are easy to define because they lead to bunions, blisters, athletes’ foot, corn, fallen arches, heel pain, joint aches, and in-growing toenails. It is, however, more difficult to define ‘comfortable’.
Whether a shoe is comfortable has a lot to do with performance. For example, a shoe worn by Captain Scott on his attempt to reach the South Pole might be considered heavy and uncomfortable in normal life but in the conditions he expected to face, it might be considered comfortable. In fact, his specially designed shoes incorporated the latest technologies but still failed to perform correctly, leaving the explorers with severe frostbite.
Softness is not the only factor to consider when looking at comfort. Manufacturers also need to consider protection and performance. Modern shoes not only protect our feet, they also augment our own abilities, and they must fit the job they are required to perform. For example, Usain Bolt’s custom-made shoes needed to be comfortable only in terms of a short sprint, but a waitress or waiter’s shoes need to be comfortable for a long period of time.
When a manufacturer develops a new shoe, they need to consider a range of comfort concepts. If they fail to develop comfortable shoes within the parameters of the user and the task they are designed to perform, then they are uncomfortable and will be discarded. In the days of social media and online reviews, this can potentially be very damaging for a brand.
SGS Clothing and Footwear Comfort Services
SGS has developed a range of testing services to help manufacturers produce high quality, compliant, and comfortable shoes for their target markets. Testing solutions include water resistance & penetration, drying times, cushioning/shock absorption, compression/energy absorption, resilience, odor, insulation and sole skid resistance. Learn more about SGS Clothing and Footwear Comfort Services. [www.sgs.com/en/consumer-goods-retail/softlines-and-accessories]
For more information, please contact:
Deputy VP CRS Softlines
Head of Footwear Services
SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 89,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 2,600 offices and laboratories around the world.