Polyurethane soles, popularly known as PU soles, are made from a new kind of organic polymer material. It has been hailed as the fifth big plastic, and is in the process of revolutionizing the shoe industry.
The current market size of PU soles is USD 4.55 billion and is slated to grow up to USD 5.79 billion by 2023. Research suggests that APAC, or Asia Pacific markets are the biggest markets for PU soles, and for good reason. The sheer durability, affordability and comfort afforded by this sole makes it perfect for these markets.
PU sole has lower density than other soles along with a soft texture and high elasticity. This makes it perfect for foot comfort. It not only provides great wear and tear resistance but also has good bending resistance and high hardness along with great shock absorption.
Are you living in rainy climes? Don’t worry, it is water resistant and prevents slippage. The most important factor here is also that it is organic and thus environmentally sound.
It is a well-known fact that every shoe manufacturer and every shoe buyer looks for something which is not only long-lasting but also comfortable. This is exactly where the PU sole comes in. It provides an absolutely unmatched comfort, adaptability to pressure and has serious long-lasting mechanical properties that keep it going.
Come to think of it, PU soles have only two major competitors – vulcanized rubber and leather. Having said that, both of these options have serious drawbacks which PU soles have successfully overcome like giving your feet space to breathe and rapid wear and tear among other things. But lately, with technological advancements there have cropped up other competitors like thermoplastic polyurethane and compact sprayed polyurethane with RPU technology. Now while these names might sound daunting and a little too hi-tech to be worn on the feet, their purpose is just that.
But having said that, PU soles are definitely more affordable than the other options available. And with the many advantages of this variety of soles it becomes almost a no-brainer to have a PU sole in the shoes of a range of types.