Often the unsung hero in the sneaker making process, the sole mould can easily be forgotten or never mentioned at all. Over the course of sneaker history, the “sole” has been just that of many of the iconic sneakers of the past. Sneakers such as the Air Jordan 3, Rebok questions, or the Adidas KB8 are simply just cut and sew uppers without there well thought-out and designed outsoles. In many cases, the sole is what gives the sneaker its life and meaning and for a long time only the big brands had the capacity and resources to bless us with this amazing component by introducing new sole units from season to season.
As a footwear brand owner myself sole moulds are expensive and for a long time and still to this day there are many brands who choose to use existing soles mostly for costing reasons rather than creating their own. This is the reason why you may see the same soles used from brand to brand more often than not. However, brands such as Filling Pieces and Arkk Copenhagen are setting a new standard and are clearly willing to make the investment in creating their own moulds and although it comes at a high price tag I am certain they are happy with this choice.
As I travel around the world working in shoe factory’s from China, to Greece to Brazil, etc. I wanted to share some images of sneaker moulds that I have come across this year throughout my journey including my own custom sneaker mould for the Omar Bailey Footwear brand which currently lives in Fujian, China.
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