A lot has changed in the foam industry over the past few years with several foam derivatives as being the most commonly used for orthotic manufacture.
EVA has been the industry standard in the manufacture pre-moulded orthotic devices. Shoe companies such as Asics have cleverly blended EVA with silicon to create a special “SPEVA” foam blend that enhances the cushioning and durability of traditional EVA. The use of stiffer and less cushioned foams such as PE provides good shape retention however this comes at a price in terms of comfort as cushioning is forfeited. This is one of the reasons why PE is not used as midsole material in athletic shoes. This is why we've used PEEVA as our base foam material.
Footbionics uses a specially formulated and unique foam blend. This combines both PE and EVA foams in the initial foam manufacture process to provide a product with combined PE and EVA properties. The stiffer PE foam provides for shape retention whilst EVA provides a great feel and shock absorbency to the orthotic. Footbionics are still one of the few companies to uniquely combine both foams in this way. Footbionics foams are made in several different densities for additional cushioning or additional support. Being heat mouldable means that you can custom fit our products for the best possible fit and end result. Look out for our new Sugarcane Foam....
Almost every sockliner in an athletic shoe now uses OrthoLite. The benefits of OrthoLite are significant in fact each year, over 100 million pairs of athletic and outdoor shoes are built with OrthoLite as their insole technology. In less than five years, OrthoLite has become the most recognised brand of insole found in all the top brands in the shoe industry. We use 2mm ortholite as a comfort layer just beneath our topcovers in several of our models.
- Breathable for a cooler foot – OrthoLite is an open-cell foam. This allows air to circulate around the foot, keeping the foot cooler inside the shoe particularly during physical activity.
- Moisture management – As the open cell structure of OrthoLite foam helps to create an airflow system, moisture is also channelled away from the foot.
- Awesome cushioning – OrthoLite retains over 95% of its thickness over time and won’t bottom out like closed cell foams do. If you press into OrthoLite you will feel the material form easily. For the foot this means a better fit and improves comfort.
- Anti-microbial – OrthoLite material also contains an anti-microbial to fight fungus, bacteria, and odour in the shoe.
- Lightweight – OrthoLite is extremely lightweight providing optimum performance without adding weight to the shoe.
PORON benefits at a glance:
This is a unique cushioning material that we use on our Supercushion models. PORON is a open cell urethane with an amazing feel. It provides superior cushioning and shock absorbency and is virtually gold standard in the management of diabetic and arthritic foot conditions. PORON provides a level of comfort never before seen in orthotic devices. Footbionics are one of the very few orthotic companies to utilise full length and full 3mm thickness PORON on their orthoses.
- Long term cushioning: PORON does not compress or break down like other foams and generally are durable for the life of the product they are adhered to. This means that fantastic cushioning is long lived.
- Comfort: PORON is a flexible, lightweight, smooth material, and offers the highest degree of comfort over the greatest length of time. Press into our Footbionics PORON models and really "feel the difference".
- Open cell breathable: Being open cell PORON is breathable and wicks moisture away from the skin.
- Energy absorption: PORON cushioning materials provides one of the highest degrees of shock absorption in any insole material. It consistently outperforms other foams to offer the best cushioning and impact absorption. Little wonder it is a material widely utilised in arthritic and diabetic foot management.
Plastazote is a well known cross linked polyethylene foam. It has fantastic properties that make it ideally suited to orthotic therapy. Typically the medical grades of Plastazote are known as being flesh coloured. We have kept this theme for our Shape model that contains 3mm of Plastazote as a top layer. In terms of mouldability there are few foams that come close to Plastazote. We felt it was important to use this unique material in our range.
Plastazote benefits at a glance:
- Ultra lightweight: This material is so light, and barely registers at all in terms of additional weight when added to the top our orthotics.
- Highly mouldable: Plastazote moulds as such low temperatures and even with no heat application it will conform and mould nicely to the shape of the foot.
- Consistent foam density: One of the most consistent uniform densities in PE foam.
- Low odour: Plastazote has minimal odour retention compared to other foams
- Cushioning: As we know that Plastazote has fantastic cushioning properties. Note that the durability is not as good as other stiffer foams.
Sugarcane foam is already in use in the athletic and footwear industry. Allbirds and Puma are an example of footwear companies embracing this sustainable foam technology. We don't know of any other orthotic companies using Sugarcane foam in commercial orthotic production.
In essence the Sugarcane replaces approximately 30% of traditional EVA foam used in its manufacture. Combining this natural processed material reduces the overall carbon footprint given that EVA is derived from fossil fuels.