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2015 Industrial Fabrics Association International Expo

By: Olie Marchal, Founder, SOM Footwear

Industrial Fabrics Association International 2015Photo by: Mark Skalny

Photography: Mark Skalny

Photography: Mark Skalny

One of the best ways to learn about new products, equipment and technology is to go to expos and shows related to the industry you are in. It is also a great way to meet with people and expand your professional and social network. So, last week I flew to Anaheim California for the IFAI Expo which features hundreds of companies in the textile industry, including a lot of outdoor gear fasteners, webbing and hundreds of other very interesting products.

What I like the most about these expos is that when I walk from one booth to the next, my brain doesn’t stop working and bringing me new ideas for our future models of shoes.

I got back to Colorado with two tote bags full of samples and contacts. Each sample brings a new idea to make our shoes lighter, more flexible, create a new look and maybe even an entirely different model (perhaps that running shoe that I’ve been dreaming up for years?).

It is amazing to see what technology can create. Products in every industry have become lighter, stronger, more efficient and more affordable. However it can also become more complex.

I’ve noticed that with new technology now available, we have the tendency to create complicated and unnecessary products. When a product is designed to be worn, like shoes for example, do we really need all that sophisticated technology to be able to walk or run? Isn’t the human body itself the most well developed “technology”? At SOM Footwear, we think so! That’s why we always look for new material and new ways to manufacture our shoes but we always keep in mind that the human foot is designed to work it’s own natural way and shoes shouldn’t interfere in anyway.

We are going to keep making our shoes with the mindset that we should be using the most natural “technology” possible. That’s the way we’ve always believed it should be.


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