Shoe Maker Interview Preparation Guide
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Shoe Maker related Frequently Asked Questions by expert members with job experience as Shoe Maker. These questions and answers will help you strengthen your technical skills, prepare for the new job interview and quickly revise your concepts

101 Shoe Maker Questions and Answers:

1 :: What is blow molding?

The blow molding process begins with melting down the plastic and forming it into a parison or in the case of injection and injection stretch blow moulding a preform. The parison is a tube-like piece of plastic with a hole in one end through which compressed air can pass.

The parison is then clamped into a mold and air is blown into it. The air pressure then pushes the plastic out to match the mold. Once the plastic has cooled and hardened the mold opens up and the part is ejected.

2 :: What is cement or Board Lasting?

A lasting process where the insole board (cardboard or Texon board) is inserted onto the last bottom and the lasting margin (excess) material of the upper is lasted/pulled) onto the board and cemented to the insole board. Shoes of this type are usually stiffer and heavier. A special machine is used pull the upper and cement in place.

3 :: Compression set or Compression resistance?

For foam products in shoe manufacture we like to know how long foam will last if we build it into a footbed or shoe midsole. Simply put the compression set is how much a foam will bounce back after being compressed. Compression set is measured in a Percentage. A foam that resists compression could have a score of 4%, a foam that is badly damaged by impact may have a score of 45%.

Poor quality EVA will have a high compression set value. High quality PU foam will last forever with a very low compression set.

4 :: What is cutting loss?

Cutting loss is the material left over once the shoe parts are cut from a material. Depending on the material type the cutting loss can be between 2% to 15%. The cutting loss also depends on the size and shape of the parts being cut. Mech will have a low cutting loss, leather may be higher. It’s important to keep the cutting loss to a minimum as this loss will be added to the cost of the shoe. A skilled cutter will save the factory money!

5 :: Explain designers or Shoe Designers?

Someone has to draw the shoes. Depending on who you ask, this is the easiest part or the hardest. The designer has to draw what people want on their feet. Hmm..

To be a shoe designer, art school would be a great help. A degree in Industrial or Product design is a great place to start. But that said, if you can really draw like a bandit who needs higher education? The designers draw the shoes, then work with the developers to make the prototypes just right. Picking color trends and knowing what is cool are critical skills.

6 :: What is EVA or CM EVA foam?

Compression Molded EVA or Ethylene vinyl acetate. A foamed midsole material that offers good cushioning and compression set. Nike likes to call theirs “Phylon” but it is the same stuff whatever you call it. The most common foam for shoe midsoles. easy for for by cutting, molding, injecting. It’s light and durable. EVA can be made in many grades depending on the compound. More or less filler, more or less vinyl acetate in the mix. can be made pillow soft or rock hard.

7 :: What is full Grain leather?

Full-grain leather refers to hides that have not been sanded, buffed, or snuffed (as opposed to top-grain or corrected leather) to remove imperfections (or natural marks) on the surface of the hide. The grain remains allowing the fiber strength and durability. The grain also has breathability, resulting in less moisture from prolonged contact. Rather than wearing out, it will develop a patina over time. High quality leather furniture and footwear are often made from full-grain leather.

8 :: What is heel Lift?

The heel lift of a shoe or shoe last is the dimension specified for the heel height above the ground. This is determined by the last if a shoe. A normal sport shoe will generally have a heel lift of 6 to 8mm above the ball of the foot. This is a standard ergonomic stance that will allow the shoe to have more cushioning under the heel. A causal shoe or sandal may have a lift of zero, then of course a high heel women’s shoe last can have a heel lift of 4 inches or more!

9 :: What is lasting?

Lasting is the operation that stretches the shoe upper over the foot form or last. Almost all shoe are lasted in some way. With the last inside the upper the outsole can be bonded and pressed into place. Once the outsole is bonded the shoe can be De-lasted. There are several types of lasting operations. Slip lasting, board lasting, toe lasting, waist lasting, heel lasting, string lasting, California lasting and hand lasting.

10 :: What is MTO or Made to Order or Make to Order?

Made to order or MTO is a special production run of shoes. The MTO shoes can be for a specific shoe store or international distributor. Usually a special color or material treatment. The MTO product manager will work closely with sales managers, Product line managers, sales reps and Designers to create new products. MTO projects can be brought to market quickly as there is no selling or booking period required. Once the design is confirmed the order can be placed to the factory.