Shoes are a consumable aesthetic representation of culture, and its value as being a medium for communication transcends the leather, mesh, and rubber of which they are comprised. To many, footwear is purely of practical value, to others, the shoes we lace up display narratives of our past and present, it tells a story. But before the story lands on your feet…it begins in the mind of it’s maker…the creative designer. Let’s follow the Journey of a Lugz shoe as it goes from the factory to your feet.
The first stage of building a Lugz shoe is building a sample. This is where the designer takes his or her ideas…puts them on paper(literally) and then create a 3d rendering of it in a computer animated drawing(CAD) complete with specs. After sourcing out and selecting the materials of the shoe …the CAD is then sent out to be hand made. The sample is now born!
Now that the sample is created..it can now roll through two to six weeks of fit testing. At each stage we make adjustments based on the feedback and based on what we see in the shoes. After tackling any design issues…a “Confirmation Sample” is now ready to go.
At this sample stage we are done. We know the material, the color, the fit and the feel we will use to create the product. Typically this gets us to six months from production and delivery to retail. The only reason for this is to get the shoes right based on the testing.
From confirmation we go to one of the hardest parts of the shoe making process: commercialization. (creating additional molds to be graded to at least 11 sizes and many times a great deal more). So the idea is that the size 13 fits and feels as good on a size 13 foot as a sample size 9 does on a size 9 foot. Once that process is completed we can then get the ball rolling on creating the final product.
Believe it or not this is where the expertise lies…in the Factory. Sure, factories come a dime a dozen but finding one that has the expertise to replicate shoes over and over and over again with consistent quality is what counts. After all, you, the end consumer, expect that the size 10 you are trying on is exactly like the size 10 you’ve been wearing for the past three months. Every single one of your shoes is touched by as many as 40 people on a production line and the entire process is not done in one day. So the fact that from a confirmation sample the factory gets your size 10s right is downright amazing and that is why selecting the right factory is important.
Finally at the end of the 18 month cycle the shoes land at retail and on your feet….where we hand the baton off for you to make memories in them. We literally celebrate when the product finally gets in your hands. Most of all we are hopeful that you can instantly give us some feedback — feedback that we can use to create the next version of that shoe which in turn is probably less than 18 months away from hitting retail shelves.