The Most Common Materials Used For Sports Footwear

All athletes around the world depend on having comfortable and durable shoes that are able to get them through their running session or tennis game without breaking down. And this is where having a good shoe material comes into play. There are a lot of different choices when it comes to choosing a good material for footwear, and where some might only use leather for their work boots, others will only rely on synthetic fabrics to make sure that their shoes stay nice and strong.

For those athletes that are looking at making their next big shoe purchase, these are some of the most popular and most common materials.

Textile Materials

Unlike leather, textile fabrics tend to be far more widely available and at a much lower cost, depending very much on the material and where it comes from. Textile includes a wide variety of different materials, but some of the most prominent are cotton, wool, nylon, and polyester, all of which have become popular for shoe makers, and each coming with its own advantages and disadvantages. One of their most appealing benefits is the fact that they can come in just about any shape and size imaginable, making them perfect for the athlete that’s looking for shoes with are both functional and good looking. It’s important to check what material the shoes are made out of and then do some light research on that specific material; each one has different practicalities depending on temperature, humidity, and other factors.

Synthetic Materials

On the other end of the spectrum we have synthetic materials, which are made entirely in a synthetic way, meaning production was mostly likely done in only factories from start to finish. Some of the most common types of synthetic materials include fake leathers, or a second layer of material that’s often adhered to a support layer of polyester, a practice you’d be more likely to see in a country in China while enjoying your time in the East. Because of their versatile nature, synthetic materials are similarly as great for customising a pair of shows as textiles, and sometimes ever better. Athletes can expect a huge range of colours and designs when deciding on a new pair of running shoes, for example, which are usually the most abundantly offered at sporting good shops.


By far the most popular material when it comes to making athletically minded shoes, rubber is often found in tennis and running shoes, and is the material used for the soles of other types of shoes. Rubber is extremely durable and gives the shoes a specific kind of bounce and retention that no other material is able to replicate as well. Rubber has, for the last few decades, been primarily manufactured out of polyester, more and more shoemakers are turning to alternatives, especially ones that are more friendly to the environment. This means that natural rubbers have made a big comeback, and quickly becoming the preferred type of rubber used for commercial athletic shoes, which makes them the superior choice in general for most athlete-related activities.