A GREAT SNEAKER
When we set out to create a line of sneakers, it was our intention to introduce real craftsmanship and a love for materials in something that could otherwise have been just another ordinary sneaker. A project that took us well over a year led to the creation of a small collection of sneakers, sleek in appearance and minimal in style.
But what exactly is it that makes a sneaker truly great? Besides genuine craftsmanship and an eye for detail, there are certain, more tangible elements that we focused on when we developed our version of a timeless sneaker. The above image highlights some of the items that make our sneakers stand out.
The last forms the basis of any shoe. The prototype is made from high quality wood, and is designed to resemble the human foot, but modelled to the shape of a sneaker. Creating a last is done by professionals, with years of experience and a deep understanding of the anatomy of the human foot. A proper shaped last should offer sufficient support and provide comfort throughout the day. We work with the only remaining last maker in the United Kingdom for the development of all our lasts, which ensures unity and sizing and the same excellent fit time and time again.
There are certain aspects to a sneaker last that require more attention. The shape of the toe is one of them, as it dictates the look and feel of the sneaker. Our toe shape is rather shallow and sinks into the rubber cup sole, which makes for a very elegant toe profile. The heel should provide sufficient grip and not be too wide. Arch support is important too, and taken into account for our last. Finally, the waist is made slimmer than usual for a more sleeker sneaker.
Vekla sneakers use high quality, durable and comfortable rubber cupsoles from well known producer Margom. These rubber soles are a true benchmark in the industry, and will provide the wearer with a lot of comfort. We are currently developing an alternative made from 70% recycled rubber, that will hopefully be on point for next season. All Margom rubber soles are made in Italy from genuine rubber, a stone's throw away from where the sneakers are made.
Since the start, leather has been our strong suit. During the years prior to launching Vekla, we have been active in the luxury footwear business. We have a lot of contacts and know the ins and outs of the leather industry. For our sneakers, we chose to work with soft, premium chrome-free leather only, wether these are wet-white or vegetable tanned. Chrome free leather is better for the environment, and your skin. Recent developments have made it possible to produce chrome-free leather with the same, or better characteristics than regular leather, so we see no reason why we wouldn't use it. In fact, we believe that this is the way to move forward, incorporating sustainability without diminishing the quality nor the beauty of the product.
The leather insole, removable for those who require an orthotic insole, provides cushioning and comfort for the foot. As it comes into direct contact with the foot, the insole is lined with the same material as the shoe, a chrome-free, high quality leather tanned in Italy. The insole is finished with our logo, foil stamped into the back part of the sole.
The heel counter might be one of the best examples of where we have tried to raise the bar, even though this part of the shoe is not visible to anyone. The heel counter is a piece of leatherboard, pre-shaped in the form of a heel, that sits between the lining and outer leather at the back of the shoe. Rigid at first, it will break in quickly and adapt to the form of your heel. The more common thermoplastic heel counter found in other sneakers is often too rigid and does more bad than good.
Laces might seem trivial, but they are a large part of what makes sneakers look good. Thick, high quality laces are a must for any high quality sneaker. Through our production partner in Italy, we were introduced to the best in the business. All laces are 100% cotton, and match the colour of the leather upper. Our aim is to use 100% bio cotton when volume allows, and we now use 100% bio cotton on our off-white version.