Our shoe development: from paper to fit to series production
From the drawn design to the last, the patterns and moulds to the fitting of the prototype and forward to the manufacturing process
Below you might find some details about the manufacture and material of our products, which also meet the requirements of a manufacturer of orthopedic shoes, thus being crafted in high-grade.
In the interplay between the spirit of the time, the fashion and the functionality of our product, the future concepts, shapes, cuts, colors, materials, soles, heels and components are created in our design studios. For our highly specialized product we develop, select and recheck every single detail. For each of our high-quality shoes, depending on the model, there are 30 to 45 different individual parts that have to be newly developed for each style and mostly also made by hand.
Perfect fit and comfort of our natural leather shoes
Naturleder-Schuhwerk and Claus Beeck develop and manufacture both women's and men's shoes. At the beginning there is always the last, which later gives the shoe its shape and thus decides on the appearance as well as the comfort, the size and the fit. Because of that, we do meet the requirements of a manufacturer of orthopedic shoes, too. A lot of experience about the structure of the foot, i.e. the anatomy, the mobility and the orthopedic basics, is therefore necessary to manufacture the prototype.
In addition, there is a feeling for fashion trends and aesthetics. This first prototype is filed by hand from a block of wood. Our lasts were specially designed for the feet of central European, which means that they allow a particularly comfortable width in the ball area of the foot, a comfortable height for the toes and sufficient volume for the instep. The height of the heel has the right ratio to the forefoot so that the feet do not tire even when standing and walking on hard floors for long periods. The foot is not unnaturally compressed; where it is necessary, it gets hold and support through the use of strong materials and the special production method. In addition, in Claus Beeck's shoes, the foot is effectively supported by a replaceable orthopedic insole, in the heel and joint area; the entire appearance is cushioned and cushioned by the specially developed soft bedding.
Production and development of sustainable natural leather shoes, taking into account orthopedic requirements
A pattern and a first prottype cutting mould need to be made for the upper part of the shoe. This is again created by hand for the prototype and gives the shoe its appearance and functionality. In turn, all other components must be developed to match this, such as heels and soles for example, all of which are built by hand. What was conceived and developed in the studios later has to be transferred to production standard. This again requires numerous tests and adjustments. For a better understanding, it should only be mentioned here that the original prototype has to be developed again and again in every size and in every width. That means a new last, cut, sole and so on for each size. Here the extraordinarily complex process of our production becomes clear. It takes about 3 months to develop a prototype until it is ready for series production. The production of a shoe in the well-organized series production takes at least 8 working days, whereby the work steps and components, as well as the soles and the uppers, must be prepared.
In detail, the following steps are necessary for the production of our Naturleder-Schuhwerk shoes:
- Development of the lasts, cuts, sizes, components, colors, etc.
- Procurement of the approx. 40 components
- Construction of the soles through punching, frame application, articulated springs, heel construction, size range
- Selection and marking of the leather
- cutting of all materials according to model and size
- Milling the leg to form the instep
- Sewing and quilting of the lining and top part
- attachment of the applications
- Formation of the front and back caps for reinforcement and stabilization
- Mounting the finished upper over the last for shaping on the assembly insole
- Attachment of the upper part to the assembly insole
- Sewing of the sole to the upper
- Shaping in the oven by heating and subsequent cooling
Leveling out the unevenness of the preassembled upper part in preparation for the application of the outsole
- Warming and activating the soles in preparation for mounting the outsole
- Application of the outsoles by cementing and pressing
- Sewing through the sole to the upper leather leg
Sanding of the outsole edge
- Polishing the leg on the last
- Lasting out the assembled shoe
- Removal of coarse adhesive residues
- Finish with stuffing, threading the laces, scarfing, processing, waxing, brushing, polishing
- Final check
- Packing and shipping.
The details and production steps presented here show that our production, which is largely done by hand, is extremely complex and can take up to 12 weeks. This gives a little insight into the complexity of the art of shoemaking, with which our shoes are still made. This is where our products differ significantly from simply produced and uniform mass-produced goods. Our production facility is located in Portugal. In the factory, our shoes are still handcrafted in a traditional sustainable way. Production is supported by machines, while the shoe is still being processed by hand in each work step.
The vast majority of our shoes are made with state-of-the-art shoe manufacturing in sewn lastings; such as „Good Year - welted“, „Blake“, Moccasin and edge sewn through lasting. Just the elegant groups of the women's shoes are mounted in Ago lastings mainly by hand and not additionally sewn between the upperleather part and the outsole. The men's shoes are regularily sewn in the traditional way of craftmenship, with the upper leather leg being fixed to the sole with an additional sturdy seam. This provides to the shoe more stability and, with the appropriate care, a longer lifespan. The additional reinforcement by the seam supports the natural rolling movement of the foot, making the shoes even more comfortable.
The hides we use for the manufacturing of our Naturleder-Schuhwerk shoes are strictly selected from the best Central European breeds and tanned exclusively in Europe. The raw material is a side-product from the meat industry; its use as natural leather is therefore particularly sustainable. The European origin assures the best quality and an environmentally friendly and pollutant-free finish, which was not possible with North and South American, Indian and Far Eastern goods so far.
Each of our Naturleder-Schuhwerk shoes is made with selected chrome-free tanned natural leathers. This is a traditional way of tannage which is particularly durable due to the gentle and time-consuming nature of the traditional recipes. This leather tanning process supplies to the leather suppleness and, in the method developed by Claus Beeck, through fat-liquoring and mechanical fulling, its softness and a warm feel. Regular re-greasing of the shoes gives them their original temperature-regulating effect, i.e. cooling in summer and warming in winter, as well as the water-repellent effect. Due to the complex and gentle tanning process, the leather fibers are "covered" and not attacked by the tanning agent.
Our natural leathers are tanned without harmful chemicals, which makes them significantly different from all other products. The dyeing is also done without the use of toxic heavy metals, PCP, formaldehyde, glyoxal or the like. This should actually be a matter of course, but the use of these substances is still common worldwide even for high-priced branded products. Thanks to the special tanning, our leathers retain the natural properties of the skin, i.e. they are particularly breathable and temperature-regulating, they are dimensionally stable, skin-friendly and can be composted without leaving any residue.
High end materials and components
This is the secret of the outstanding wearing characteristics of the Naturleder-Schuhwerk products designed and created by Claus Beeck . Of course, our shoes are perfectly suitable for barefoot wear. In order to obtain the best possible foot climate in combination with the breathable leathers, we have designed the shoes accordingly. In our Nautrleder-Schuhwerk products, the insole of the shoe is made of genunine leather in principle and not, as it is still common today even with expensive brand name shoes, of cheap pressed cardboard. This has the advantage that the moisture in the shoe is absorbed much better as it could be by the cheap paperboard. The leather releases the moisture in the shoe and does not accumulate it, as it happens with the cardboard. Additionally the real leather insole is of course much more stable, flexible, durable and therefore of higher quality.
Because of this high quality standard, the shoes are always completely lined with high-quality calf leather right up to the tip of the shoe. This is also a big difference to most brand name shoes nowadays, which for cost reasons only use synthetic textile materials in the shoe's front sheet, even with so-called leather lining. We also do not use chemical products to fix the dyeing substances on top of the leather hides, which also improves the water vapor permeability of our natural leather. This can lead to bleeding of the lining leather. We request our customers to take this into consideration when choosing their socks and stockings and, in such cases, recommend the use of dark goods.
Our natural leathers are finished and polished by hand, which creates a depth of color in the upper leather that is no longer possible with conventionally coated leathers due to the synthetic surface finishing.
Our classically elegant models have newly developed cellular rubber soles that significantly reduce the weight of the shoes. Additionally in combination with the traditional way of sewing the upper leather part to the outsole, we have developed components that offer flexibility and weight reduction without compromising on high quality and durability. For this reason, our shoes are particularly sustainable, as the environmentally friendly materials, such as our natural leather, come together with the longevity of our product.
The connecting seam of the leather upper part with the leather midsole is doubled in our Good Year welted shoes; a particularly complex and durable method. The cellular rubber sole is applied to the midsole, which has the advantage that the outsole can be renewed as often as necessary without affecting the construction of the shoe. This also gives the product an unique quality and sustainability. This type of traditional manufaturing is still genunine handcraft, which makes our Naturleder-Schuhwerk shoes outstanding.
Every foot is different and unique because it consists of 26 bones and 40 joints, plus tendons, ligaments and muscles; all in all a highly complicated structure. With all of our weight on it, our feet have to do heavy work. With movement, the force almost doubles with acceleration; This means that with a body weight of 80 kilograms, feet and shoes are loaded with at least 160 kg with every step. In order to meet this requirement and to relieve the feet, we combine firm and soft materials. The sewn construction, the reinforcements in the toe and heel area, the complete leather lining made of selected calf leather and the stable leg support stabilize the foot. The anatomically shaped and exchangeable footbed is made of dimensionally stable foam and covered with soft calf leather. It cushions the footstep and absorbs the weight; this effect is supported by the shock-absorbing materials in our heels and soles.The leg is made of soft yet dimensionally stable leather; due to the high breathability, there is constant air circulation. With the combination of firm and soft materials, our shoes adapt to individual and very different feet; they hardly tire even after long periods of wear.
Naturleder-Schuhwerk offers you amoung casual items business shoes that are as soft, convinient and comfortable as otherwise only sporty shoes that could be inappropriate in business life. The cattle hides used by Claus Beeck are strictly selected from the best Central European breeds and tanned exclusively in Europe. This guarantees the highest quality, environmentally friendly and pollutant-free production, which is not possible with North and South American, Indian and Far Eastern goods in compliance with our environmentally friendly and social standards.