As you might already know if you’ve read our about us page or other blogs we’ve posted, here at Soco Sands we use recycled rubber in the process of making our shoes. However, we’ve recently become aware that some of our customers may want to know more about this process and how exactly we can make comfortable shoes with old materials!
It’s actually not as hard as it sounds, and in some ways, using recycled materials actually gives us an advantage! So stick around to find out more about our process and how using recycled rubbers can make a world of difference in the shoe game.
Just as Good as unused rubber
First things first, let’s get the basics out of the way. While many people may question whether using recycled materials (like rubber) may compromise the product due to it not being newly made material; we’re here to tell you that idea is straight up ludicrous.
Used rubber is just as good as unused rubber in many ways, it’s made of the same stuff after all! The only difference is that the used rubber has already been, well, used. However, it’s not like we’re just grabbing the old rubber and patchworking it in without doing some modifications first. You don’t see people walking around wearing gigantic tires for shoes after all!
Instead, the rubber component will be shredded down into little more usable pieces and packed together again to make a more spongy texture. If you’ve ever been to a park that uses rubber padding instead of asphalt, gravel, or wood chips; it's likely that rubber matt was made out of recycled rubber too!
In the production of goods such as shoes, the pieces can be broken down further to create a more outwardly smooth appearance if necessary, while still maintaining the overall spongy texture!
Better Shock Absorbency
As we’ve mentioned in the process of recycling the rubber, it’s essentially chopped/ (or in some cases where liquid nitrogen and freezing is involved) smashed into little pieces and stuck back together. In the process of sticking these bits back together, there are still little air gaps in between the pieces that provide space for further compression.
Think of it like a sponge almost, though firmer than a sponge is of course. The idea there is the same! Reusing rubber from products that were already made to have a great deal of shock absorbance (i.e., tires) also means our product by default also benefits from the shock absorbent rubber.
As you could probably already conclude, shock absorbance in shoes is actually a pretty solid addition and makes the shoe more comfortable to wear overall. It softens the impact of each of your steps allowing you to take more steps than usual without experiencing as much pain as you normally would’ve!
Saves money in production aspects
While you may think us penny pinchers for saying this, it’s true. Recycled rubber in most cases is relatively cheaper than using new rubber for our products. However, we don’t just sit on this saved money, we put it towards financing other aspects of our shoe production (such as our eco-friendly packaging). We can also use the saved money to make the overall appearance of our shoes and quality better!
The recycled rubbers are often softer than unused hard rubbers which you’ll generally find in other shoes since it’s cheaper. Our recycled rubber comes with the added benefit of already being ‘worn in’, meaning even originally tough rubbers have a more spongy/ elastic consistency than they originally started with.
So, in that aspect, the fact it saves us money also contributes towards us making more comfortable footwear that lasts longer than other shoes on the market!
Benefits the Environment
Lastly, while this isn’t something that directly impacts the quality of our shoes, we’re just proud to say that we can help (even in a small way) to lessen the burden of the shoe industry on the environment.
It’s no secret that plenty of rubber products used to and still do end up in landfills every year. As much as we seem obsessed with tires throughout the entirety of this blog, it’s mainly because they make such a huge impact that it’s hard for us to stop thinking about them!
Tires in landfills are horrible. They can catch fire easily, releasing toxic black fumes into the air that really destroys lungs over time. For people with already weak lungs, this could even be deadly if the exposure is long enough or if the concentration is high enough. Even if the tire doesn't catch fire in the landfill, those same harmful chemicals are still released into the soil as it breaks down overtime; leaving a toxic dump where there could’ve been rich livable land.
To know that our use of recycled rubber can help keep harmful chemicals out of our landfills makes us feel better about what we’re doing. We want to be able to proudly say what we do, if we can inspire others to do the same, then of course we’ll do that too!
Curious about what sort of shoes we could possibly make with recycled rubber after reading through this? Then Click Here to test them out yourself today!