German chemicals giant BASF, in collaboration with Taiwanese shoemaker Longterm Concept and Shanghai-based design company Gu Guoyi, has developed X-Swift, a shoe that fuses high-performance material solutions and with technology in one product.
Designed with “timeless, simple style”, the shoe combines the four advanced BASF materials to offer stability and foot support, a BASF release said 15 May.
The multi-purpose design, according to BASF, allows individuals "to wear the same pair of shoes to work, and their next work-out."
The outsole of the shoe is made of Elastollan thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), incorporating a high grip tread pattern to optimise traction and provide maximum surface contact.
X-Swift’s midsole features the high rebound polyurethane Elastopan for cushioning and durability. This material, BASF claims, is superior to conventional midsoles.
The midsole is complemented by a “unique, breathable insole” made of upgraded Elastopan that is engineered to work with the high-performance sock liner.
X-Swift also features a two-piece material upper construction, which is a combination of synthetic leather Haptex and fibre made with Freeflex TPU.
“The X-Swift marries style and function together – which fits perfectly for consumers looking for high-performance shoes that are versatile enough to match modern lifestyles,” said Gu Guoyi, founder of product creation and service brand ‘a banana.design’.
Having worked with established brand names, such as Reebok and Nike, Gu co-designed X-Swift in collaboration with BASF’s Creation Center.
Shoemaker Longterm Concept contributed to the project, providing expertise in automated and intelligent footwear production processes.
The company, according to BASF, used “the latest automation technology” to integrate different footwear automation processes and to combine the use of fuse the BASF materials cost-effectively.
The technology also helped reduce production time compared to conventional footwear manufacturing techniques, BASF added.
“Our process fundamentally changes the way that shoes are made and opens up brand new possibilities both for what we can create and the speed with which we can create it,” said Darren Shih, innovation director, Longterm Concept.
The X-Swift will be on display at BASF’s booth at Chinaplas 2019, 21-24 May.