BASF, Longterm Concept, and Gu Guoyi have collaborated to develop X-Swift - a newly designed athleisure shoe that showcases four outstanding BASF advanced material innovations fused into one shoe with the latest footwear automation technology. The X-Swift is collaboratively designed by renowned footwear designer Gu Guoyi and BASF’s Creation Center, BASF’s dedicated touch-point for engaging and inspiring designers, bridging the gap between conceptual ideas of creators and the technical possibilities offered by BASF. The design is also multi-purpose; allowing individuals to wear the same pair of shoes to work, and their next work-out.
''The X-Swift marries style and function together – which fits perfectly for consumers looking for high-performance shoes that are versatile enough to match modern lifestyles,'' said Gu Guoyi, founder of a banana.design. His professional background includes footwear design for established brand names, such as Reebok and Nike.
Longterm Concept, a leading Taiwanese shoe manufacturer that specializes in an automated and intelligent footwear production process, used the latest automation technology to integrate different footwear automation processes and fuse four different advanced BASF materials cost-effectively. The process also enables a quicker production time compared to conventional footwear manufacturing techniques.
''The demand for new shoe designs is growing at a fast speed. Our process fundamentally changes the way that shoes are made and opens up brand new possibilities both for what we can create and the speed with which we can create it. The name X-Swift aptly reflects the speed of production, and how it mirrors our fastpaced lifestyle,'' said Mr. Darren Shih, Innovation Director, Longterm Concept.
Each of the advanced and high-performance material solutions from BASF in the athleisure shoe complements each other in their own way. The result is a shoe with better stability and support for the feet:
• The outsole made of Elastollan Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) incorporates a high grip tread pattern to optimize traction and provide maximum surface contact.
• X-Swift’s midsole features the high rebound polyurethane Elastopan for excellent cushioning and durability, which is superior to conventional midsoles.
• The midsole is complemented by a unique, breathable insole made of Elastopan that is engineered to work with the high-performance sock liner.
• X-Swift also features an innovative, two-piece material upper construction which is a combination of sustainable synthetic leather Haptex and fiber made with Freeflex TPU. The materials conform to the foot using minimal seams and stitch lines to provide superior comfort and maximum performance.
''The footwear market is dynamic and fast-paced. So we are challenging ourselves every day to explore the boundaries of our materials. For this co-creation, we are meshing the qualities of our state-of-the-art footwear materials, and prototyping with the limitless potential of new manufacturing technologies,'' said Manfred Pawlowski, Vice President, Consumer Industry, BASF Performance Materials. ''With a timeless, simple style, cozy comfort and performance in the sole, the X-Swift is every athleisure loving’s best friend and a game changer, empowering the future of footwear.''
The X-Swift will be on display at BASF’s booth during Chinaplas 2019 and will be featured as part of its series of tech talks organized at the booth.