Eternally Optimistic: On Outsole Molds and the Yoga of Shoemaking

Yes! Journal

Eternally Optimistic: On Outsole Molds and the Yoga of Shoemaking

Radical Yes Eternally Optimistic

We first made Saturn Returns in Winter 2016.

We’ve made it twice a year (Spring/Winter) ever since. The idea for the silhouette was drawn from retro inspired 80s lace up trainers. In some ways, it was mining childhood influences of Punky Brewster and Drew Barrymore as Gertie in E.T. It was meant to be a take on a grown-up girls gym shoe. It was meant to divine good energy and a sense of playfulness.

Radical Yes Eternally Optimistic

The first time we made it, we made it with wool lining. In fact it wasn’t a lining, it was a one piece upper construction, which was beautiful but proved delicate for a style intended to speak to ideas of utility. It was the first learning we took on in the shoe and firmed our commitment to continually working on a style we loved to always improving and getting better.

Radical Yes Eternally Optimistic

Shoe making is like that. In some ways’ it’s like a yoga practice. Your first expression of a pose is never your best. That’s why it’s called practice. It takes years of doing the same thing many times to train the body and even then it’s never static. You never ‘arrive’.

Radical Yes Eternally Optimistic

It’s the same in shoe making. Every production has its nuances. Every production has its opportunities for learning. So our process at Radical Yes is to always be looking for the ways we can outdo ourselves each and every time, to find our best expression of the shoe. It’s one of the reasons we choose to keep exploring the same silhouette over and again. And it’s your valuable feedback that keeps us accountable to the process.

Radical Yes Eternally Optimistic

So.

That’s how we arrived at this important place of working with our maker to open our own outsole molds. Investing in every component of the shoe has meant we can specify things like rubber density and tread thickness. It has meant we now have abrasion testing certification to an international ISO standard. It also manifests in a myriad of other micro decisions – how the tongue is being stitched to ensure it won’t slip and the curve of the topline to make sure it doesn’t hit the ankle.

Radical Yes Eternally Optimistic

By leveraging the new outsole across our Journey Velcro silhouette, which meant rebuilding the lasts and tweaking the upper patterns on this style, we can now be 100% sure that every element of the shoes has been considered and accounted for.

Innovations informed by your experience in the shoes. Taken on and further researched by us. Always with the goal of producing our best collection of trainers ever. 

Radical Yes Eternally Optimistic

Radical Yes Eternally Optimistic

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