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  • Fabiana Buontempo: What do tennis star Coco Gauff,

  • NBA MVP Kawhi Leonard,

  • and Liverpool soccer great Sadio Mané have in common?

  • They all wear New Balances on the court and on the field.

  • You don't have to be a sneakerhead

  • to know that New Balances

  • weren't always considered the "cool shoe."

  • But somehow, despite steep competition,

  • New Balance has entered the conversation.

  • Reportedly, from 2010 to 2018,

  • sales jumped by more than 100%, at a time when athleisure

  • was making the biggest dent in the shoe market.

  • So why are athletes across the sports spectrum

  • flocking to New Balance now?

  • The answer lies in the shoes' soles

  • and the attention to detail in their manufacturing.

  • I traveled to New Balance's Lawrence, Massachusetts,

  • facility to learn what goes into the process.

  • Manny Gomes, the mechanic supervisor at the facility,

  • showed me the precision that goes into

  • making the sneakers here.

  • Making a New Balance sneaker takes 50 to 60 steps,

  • and work is divided into four stations:

  • the prep station, initial stitching,

  • hand-stitching, and the assembly station.

  • It's at the fourth station where the soles get attached

  • to the rest of the shoe, and it's something New Balance

  • has been working on since the beginning.

  • The company started in 1906 by selling arch supports,

  • which became so popular among athletes

  • that they asked for sneakers tailored to their feet.

  • But the company wouldn't release its first pair of sneakers

  • until years later.

  • When it did start selling sneakers,

  • New Balance mostly chose not to rely

  • on celebrity endorsements,

  • as the brand wanted its sneaker to speak for itself.

  • It went so far as to make its mantra "Endorsed by No One,"

  • all the while improving the sole

  • and the shoe's overall comfort.

  • But before the sole is ever added,

  • the work begins at the first station.

  • This is where fabrics are cut

  • into different parts of the shoe.

  • So, how exactly does the machine for the cutting work?

  • Manny Gomes: This is the vamp die;

  • it's gonna cut off the vamp of the shoe.

  • What the cutter's gonna do is they're going to place it

  • on this webbed material. They're going to cut it.

  • They're gonna flip it around so they can

  • just try to get their spacing as tight as possible

  • and work their way down.

  • Fabiana: This station is where small

  • but mighty details of the shoe come together,

  • such as sticking on sizing and model labels.

  • Next is the initial-stitching station.

  • During this step, workers use a technique

  • called flat stitching, which is crucial

  • to making the shoes long-lasting.

  • Individual stitches are made without crossing

  • or looping the thread.

  • They use this stitching technique

  • because flat stitching doesn't leave any raw edges

  • but creates a durable double row of stitching.

  • This is important because this is the body of the shoe,

  • where most of the wear and tear happens.

  • Here, the employee takes the cut-out pieces of fabric

  • and places them onto large yellow pallets.

  • They line up the pieces and close the yellow pallet's lid

  • to begin the stitching.

  • Once stitching is complete on a part of the shoe,

  • an employee will send that part down the assembly line.

  • The famous N gets stitched onto the shoe during this step.

  • Now it's time for the hand-stitching part of the process.

  • The upper portion of the shoe is almost done at this point.

  • But why hand-stitch in this phase?

  • Turns out, the stitching in this station

  • is more intricate and requires the guidance of a human hand.

  • Manny: Stitching is very complicated.

  • Sometimes we'll have a skipped stitch,

  • and what happens is the operator will stop,

  • give it to the team leader, team leader will give it

  • to the repair person, they'll fix that skipped stitch,

  • put it back in process, and continue.

  • Fabiana: The final step is assembling

  • and finishing the sneakers.

  • First, the upper is pulled onto a shoe last,

  • which performs the job of a foot in a shoe,

  • and that gives it its final shape.

  • The upper and the sole are then heated in a little tunnel.

  • From there, they go into a press machine,

  • which permanently bonds the two parts together.

  • Speaking of the sole,

  • it's something of an engineering marvel.

  • Traditional soles can be narrow and unsupportive,

  • leading to all kinds of foot problems,

  • like plantar fasciitis.

  • And if they can't hold up to the rigors of a sport,

  • it can be a nightmare for a sneaker brand.

  • New Balance widens the toe box.

  • That extra room helps the foot be more stable.

  • Plus, New Balance gives its sneakers a thick midsole,

  • making them more comfortable and shock-absorbent.

  • But it's not one-size-fits-all when it comes to the soles.

  • The numbers in each New Balance sneaker name

  • indicate what type of activity the shoe is for

  • and the type of support it offers.

  • For example, if the name has a 40 in it,

  • like the New Balance 940 or 1540 shoes,

  • it's designed to offer control, stability,

  • and cushioning perfect for running.

  • Different numbers mean a different sole.

  • To finish the process,

  • the New Balance sneaker gets a final inspection,

  • and if all is well, it's packed up in its box,

  • soon making its way to a store.

  • Other shoe brands may still have the upper hand

  • in terms of sales and cultural cachet,

  • but there's no doubt that more athletes and customers

  • are taking notice of New Balance.

Fabiana Buontempo: What do tennis star Coco Gauff,

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New Balance运动鞋的制作方法(How New Balance Sneakers Are Made | The Making Of)

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    joey joey 發佈於 2021 年 05 月 24 日
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