About PU Sole and Its Advantages

A few decades ago, the footwear industry was searching for an alternative to the conventional sole materials to create a more robust, stylish and sustainable sole. The quest saw a new hope when the sole manufacturers had caused a disruption with an intriguing and innovative material - Polyurethane (PU).

The PU sole manufacturers have been endorsing and providing this splendid sole material for several years to create a plethora of footwear. The primary reason for its popularity is that the PU sole advantages the footwear manufacturers as well as the end users to a great extent with its amazing properties.

The polyurethane has been extensively utilized as a shoe sole material to develop robust and sustainable high-quality shoes for the applications requiring rough use such as trekking, sports, labour-intensive industries, etc. However, the PU sole manufacturers have made it possible now for them to be used as a sole material for causal and office footwear like formal shoes, sport shoes, safety shoes, sandals, sneakers, chappals etc. Moreover, the constant endeavours of the PU sole manufacturers and the continual demand for this material by the footwear industry, have now made the polyurethane quite affordable. The reasonable cost of the PU sole makes it suitable to be used in more types of footwear than its conventional counterparts.

How is PU Sole Made?

The polyurethane is produced by reacting an isocyanate prepolymer, such as methylene diphenyl isocyanate, and a polyol component in the presence of heat and an organometallic catalyst.

The liquid Polyurethane produced from the reaction can then be shaped into the required sole designs using injection moulding or pouring method. As the former has more merits, it is usually the most favourable method for the production of PU sole. By varying the diverse factors such as the types of the key or additive components and their contents, the density and hardness of polyurethane can be altered to produce the material with diverse characteristics.

To ensure that the PU sole advantages the footwear manufacturers with its use in a broad range of footwear, the PU sole manufacturers have developed mainly two versions of the polyurethane.

  • Polyester: This version of the polyurethane is manufactured by using polyester polyols and offers exceptional resistance against heat and abrasion. Thus, it is used as a shoe sole material in the development of high-quality sports and safety shoes.

  • Polyether: Produced using a blend of polyether polyols, the polyether polyurethane has a superior finish to its surface. It offers water-resistant qualities, making it ideal to be used in stylish general-purpose footwear such as street shoes and sandals.

PU Sole Advantages

The highly competent characteristics of PU sole advantage the footwear manufacturers and consumers alike and this has rightfully made it the soul of the footwear industry. Here are some of these advantages:

  • Lightweight: There is hardly any who’d like to drag heavy feet around; thus, an airy material like the polyurethane often serves as the first choice as the sole for lightweight footwear.

  • Chemical & Water Resistance: Polyurethane is known for its inert, robust and durable characteristics. Thus, the footwear manufacturers find PU sole advantageous enough to be used as a shoe sole material in high-quality safety shoes for various industries.

  • Finest Grip: These soles exhibit excellent grip on even the most slippery surfaces, making them alluring enough to be used in nearly all kinds of footwear.

  • Comfort & Durability: Due to its well-finished surface and leather-like elasticity, Polyurethane offers both these qualities in every type of footwear.

  • Shock Absorption: For the applications where the consumer needs to stand or walk around for long, the footwear should have good shock absorption properties. Thus, the polyurethane serves as the perfect fit to be used as the sole material for such a purpose.

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