Find out what properties each material of the footwear

To choose footwear it is very important to take into account the material of the footwear to choose the best option.

The materials of the footwear are very important, as they are the protagonists of the quality of the footwear. There are different types of materials that provide different qualities to the shoes, which allow them to adapt to the needs that the user has and is looking for: If you want more breathability, greater resistance, thermal insulation, comfort, etc. On this occasion, the Gabarain team will show you the properties of each of the materials we use when making our shoes.



Leather is the star material in our footwear, as it offers exceptional quality with unique properties. This material is the most used in the elaboration of shoes because it offers a great resistance, it is durable, flexible, and there are different types, colours, and with different prices. It is a great material with which you can make attractive, functional and fashionable footwear. The leather can be of different kinds, which also affects the qualities that the shoe will have, for example, a thin leather breathes more and adapts like no other shoe. On the other hand, a thick leather shoe can be heavy, warmer and susceptible to water absorption. The handmade leather shoe is a masterpiece of craftsmanship.


Textile fabrics

Textile fabrics for footwear provide different qualities to the shoe and have a variety of properties, such as different colours, weaves, fibres and denier. The denier is the equivalent of the weight of the yarn where 1 denier = 1 gram per 9,000 linear metres of yarn. This type of material is used for lighter, more flexible and comfortable footwear, such as sports or casual shoes. These textiles come in many types of fibres, such as cotton, nylon, wool, polyester, lycra, polypropylene, etc. Each of these brings a different property and appearance. This material is considered an exceptional resource for designers, as there is an infinity of colours, patterns, fabrics and prints to create all kinds of designs. Textile has a special place in footwear design.


This material is called by many names, from synthetic leather, leatherette, PU, PVC, or vegan leather, etc., and is a material also widely used in the design of modern sports footwear. Synthetic leather made of high-quality PU is manufactured with a water-resistant PU microfibre base. Nowadays, in order to be able to design shoes, it is necessary to have knowledge of synthetic materials, as this offers us as designers a great variety of textures, different characteristics, colours, etc. Synthetic fabrics are materials that can be reused and recycled, so if you are looking for a sustainable shoe that gives you great comfort, this type of material is the one you are looking for. Discover our commitment to the environment and how we support sustainability.



Foam is another essential material in the manufacture of footwear, as it is one of the materials that also provides unique properties. There are many types of foam, generally we can find two:
Open cell foam: the plastic compounds that form the foam cells are open, air and water interfere freely, thus providing the footwear with great breathability and ventilation. This foam is available in different densities, and in almost any thickness and colour.
Closed cell foam: the individual cells are closed or sealed, and do not allow the internal foam gas to escape. The midsoles of sports shoes are made of this type of foam. The most common foams of this type are EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate), PE (Polyethylene), SBR (Styrene Butadiene Rubber), PU (Polyurethane), latex and neoprene. Each has different qualities, e.g. EVA foam is used to reinforce materials made with mesh for waterproofing. On the other hand, SBR and neoprene are used when a more elastic footwear is required, while latex is used to cover the shoe’s upper or to cover the neckline. As for PE foam, it is a lighter material but not as durable, so its use is limited.

All these materials are the most common in the elaboration and manufacture of footwear, each one provides different properties depending on the utility that you want to give to the shoes or slippers, but there is no material better than another. What is best for a running shoe is not necessarily the best material for work boots. At Gabarain we carefully select every detail of each shoe so that it provides the best qualities, taking into account durability, service rates, comfort, and above all and very importantly, style.


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