Have you ever wondered how a pair of Hotter shoes are made…? We’d love to welcome you into the Hotter factory, where we make a pair of shoes every 20 seconds. We have been based in Lancashire since 1959 and we craft shoes in one of the most technologically advanced factories in the world. Watch the videos below to see how our shoes are created.
Step 1 – Lasting
Uppers are steamed to make sure they are soft and pliable enough to be eased onto our precision engineered lasts. That’s a last, it’s the green ‘upside down’ foot! The focus is to make sure that every single upper and last are a perfect fit (that’s 1.8million pairs each year!).
Step 2 – Roughing
This is one of our roughing robots – it’s scoring a line around the shoe so there is a perfect bond between the upper and the sole. A barcode on each pair ensures each one is roughed to the exact millimetre – with all the shoe styles and sizes that’s over 500 different combinations!
Step 3 – PU Injection
Polyurethane (PU) is injected into shoe moulds which then sets to fuse the sole to the shoe upper.
PU is made of two chemicals; the machine mixes them together on a mixing screw running at 1,800 revolutions per minute and then injects them into the back of the mould; the PU expands to fill the space creating the soles of our shoes which are filled with millions of air bubbles.
Step 4 – Flash Trimming
Flash is the excess PU from the moulding process and is trimmed off by the flash trimmer to ensure the shoes look perfect.
Step 5 – Finishing
We have 40 people on our ten finishing lines, it’s here where the final checks are made and each pair of shoes is carefully inspected. The shoes are quality checked, laces tied, straps fastened and passed on to be carefully packaged.
Step 6 – Packing
Shoes are carefully wrapped in tissue paper to keep them in perfect condition. Did you know that every single pair of Hotter shoes, boots and slippers are placed in their shoe box the same way – left shoe first, side down, followed by right shoe, side up, so when you open the shoe box the first thing you see is the colour and detail of your shoe.
They then go through to our warehouse to be sent out to our customers.
We’re proud to take great care of every single pair of shoes that we make for you. There’s 160 people working in the Hotter factory and whether they’ve worked here most of their lives, or have joined our team more recently, every one of us is dedicated to delivering you shoes you’ll fall in love with right out of the box! To find out more about the process, and meet the people who make the shoes, visit http://www.hotter.com/blog/how-we-make-our-shoes/ where factory manager Joan Stewart tells you more.