Cork is a versatile natural material, having wide spectrum of utilization from flooring to stopping wine bottles. In shoes, the material’s remarkable properties shows themselves to the best advantage. What makes cork so special? It is shock absorbing and softens impact by walking at hard surfaces, dissipating energy It is an naturally antibacterial product, which also prevents fungus to build up in your shoes It is an excellent insulator, preventing from over-cooling or over-heating It absorbs up to 67% of humidity in 8 hours and dries out to 100% in 16 hours It stays relatively odor resistant by normal use (need to be dried out completely time to time) It is a recyclable and biodegradable product It is naturally renewable It is washable up to 40ºC Due to its impact resisting properties cork stays also the material choice of most orthopedists. The material’s natural elasticity reduces the impact force and joint stress, which is transferred up into ankles, shins and knees. Medical use of cork in orthopedic insoles is also related to it’s ability to hold the foot in an orthopedically correct position. Our soles have ergonomic design with arch supporting footbed and offer numerous pain-relieving and comfort benefits. Some of the soles are covered by 100% vegetable tanned leather (free from chrome and P.C.P.), some have a layer of 100% wool. All depends how you like it and the space you have in your shoes. We left some of the soles without any top layer, so that you foot can have direct contact to the cork. Having in mind its antibacterial properties you can even wear the shoes without socks and not being worried about the bad odours. After some longer wearing time, subjected to the weight pressure and body heat, cork insoles start molding themselves to the foot shape, creating some custom fit and offering a high level of comfort. Despite this ability to mold to a certain degree, the material stays firm compared to rubber or artificial insoles, maintaining proper arch support and foot alignment. Cork is harvested from cork trees, with the material forming just under the upper bark layer. Cork trees are harvested for 1st time after 25 years and every nine to 13 years thereafter. The material can only be stripped between May and August to prevent tree damage. Alentejo is the region in Portugal with the largest cork forest in the world. More about this poetic region and cork foresting you can read in our other blog soon. Cork outsoles are normally bonded with resin for increased durability. We choose the company, which keeps the cork as natural as possible, agglomerating it with 1.1% of latex. The supply chain of this product is very short, since the harvesting of cork and production of soles are in the same country and at short distance.