PORON Cushioning Blog Blog

PORON Cushioning Blog

Foamology 101: The Science Behind Choosing the Right Foam Material for Your Footwear and Protective Apparel Designs

Posted by Nicole Perry on Monday, December 12th, 2011 | No Comments »

From polyurethanes to EVAs and fabrics to gels, there’s a variety of different impact and cushioning agents that you can use for your applications.  It can be difficult to sort them all out and when there’s no specification or standard to refer too, the PORON® team has found that some customers simply make their choice based on “what feels right” or what has been used in the past.

For over 40 years, Rogers has worked with a wide range of customers, from electronic and mechanical engineers to footwear and protective apparel designers, to help solve their toughest design challenges.  There are some trends that remain consistent across markets, for example, finding thinner and lighter weight materials is usually at top of the design list.  At the same time many designs, even within the same category, vary on style and material choice because the product’s overall benefits vary depending on customer, target market or final use.  For example, if you ask us to suggest a PORON Material for a walking shoe, we would first have to determine what benefits you would like to gain from this walking shoe.  Are you looking to minimize shock to the foot?  Stability control?  Contouring?  Men’s or women’s design?

Within the PORON® family of foams alone, there are over ten different options to choose from, and not all the PORON® foams are best for all applications.  Material selection can be challenging but even when there’s no standard to follow, there are a number of simple rules that you can use as guidelines to help you sort through the options.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll work through some of these challenges by providing you with some tips on what questions should be asked and what materials may be right for your applications.  We’ll also answer some of the common questions that we get asked, like “I’m looking for a stiff foam, so should I sample the densest material offerings? (hint: It depends on what types of foams you’re sampling.  Yes, typically an EVA’s ‘stiffness’ is rated by its density but when sampling PORON Materials, you can find ‘stiffer’ solutions without adjusting density…but more on this later!)

Segments will include:

– Work and Duty Boots – comfort

– Work and Duty Boots – safety

– Hiking and Trail Running

– Running (traditional running shoes vs. minimalist running)

– High Heals and Dance Footwear

– Casual / Comfort Footwear and Aftermarket Insoles

– Helmets (cycling, American football, baseball, rugby scrum caps, etc.)

– Protective Apparel (compression gear)

– Gloves – (ski, climbing, industrial, etc.)

– Protective Equipment (elbow/knee pads, shin guards, shoulder pads and chest protectors)

– Protective Vests (ballistic vests, back protectors, riding vests, etc.)

– Bags and Cases (computer bags, tablet cases, camera bags, etc.)

– Let’s not forget our furry friends: protection and comfort equipment for animals (horse splint boots, saddle pads, dog harnesses, and others)

Please feel free to send us your questions or topics you would like us to address ahead of time.  You can e-mail us at: poron.cushioning@rogerscorp.com.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Nicole Perry

Nicole Perry

Global Market Segment Manager for PORON Comfort materials. Nicole has been involved in the Footwear industry for over 15 years. She also has over 25 years working with high performance materials including custom injection molded and cast polymers for automotive, apparel, electronics, equipment and medical markets. Nicole is passionate about bringing great technologies to market and working with companies that share the goal of helping people enjoy life no matter what they are doing. She holds an MBA from Nichols College.

There are no comments yet, add one below.

Leave a Comment