What Is EVA? Materials Matter When Buying Shoes

Natalie Cecconi
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What Is EVA?

EVA, short for ethylene-vinyl acetate, is a type of foam used in shoes for comfort. It’s popular with footwear makers since it doesn’t break down easily, and its properties are close to perfect, but the perfect does come at a cost.

EVA foam is a very porous material. This is what makes it comfortable to wear.

Your feet perspire, so when your feet sweat, the pores in the EVA (which is actually a sponge-like material) will absorb the perspiration and wick it to help keep your feet cool.

If you’re not a fan of chemical-sounding names, you can think of it like this. If you ever took a small hand vacuum to your carpet, you could vacuum your carpet and it would absorb all the dirt and oil that was on it.

That is because the tiny hairs on the back of the carpet are what we call microwave absorbers. It absorbs the electromagnetic radiation from the microwave and turns it into heat. This is why microwaves heat food up.

Likewise, EVA absorbs moisture and then uses the porous nature of the material to wick it away from your feet.

Is EVA better than rubber?

When you shop for shoes or shoes on the internet, there are often big differences in quality between makes and models.

The Three Kinds of EVA

EVA is a synthetic thermoplastic. It is frequently used in the footwear and footwear lining industries, and is a common component of products like footwear, skid shoes, yoga mats, household footwear and customized sportswear. It is also called ethylene vinyl acetate and copolymers of ethylene, vinyl acetate.

EVA offers a number of advantages over other plastics. It is durable, waterproof, and has anti-static characteristics. It is also possible to process EVA into different shapes. Plus, it is very comfortable and flexible. It most commonly comes to the market in granule form, but it is also available in pellet form and can be processed into sheets, film, or molding materials, depending on the required use.

For footwear, EVA is the most commonly used material. It has an outstanding combination of mechanical and physical characteristics. It is very flexible, has good stretching properties, provides excellent level of comfort and is durable. It also offers good compression molding, puncture resistance, and durability. It is also heat resistant, which makes it possible to process it into soles. One of the main problems with footwear made using EVA is that it doesn’t provide much cushioning. That’s why it is necessary to use a combination of materials in its manufacturing.

Application of EVA in Shoe Manufacturing

EVA is a type of thermoplastic polymer that is used to make a shoe’s outsole.

The shoe's outsole is the part of the shoe in contact with the ground and also the most direct point of shoe-appearance interaction.

It is made of EVA, rubber, metal, and leather.

The combination of these materials in a single shoe is based on the type of walking exercise you will be undertaking.

The outsole is the most commonly worn down part of a shoe so it requires constant maintenance and a quality replacement.

The outsole is also the heaviest part of the shoe. EVA is a good choice for this part of the shoe because of its high abrasion resistance.

In addition, its light weight allows the shoe to retain its lightweight characteristics even with the addition of a large shoegear parts.

Eccentric parts, like abrasive rock climbing grips, is sometimes made of specialized materials and can be made to match the outsole.

Why Have EVA Midsoles?

EVA is short for ethylene vinyl acetate. It is a lightweight, synthetic material made of two compounds. It can be manufactured with styrene, vinyl acetate, and ethylene monomer. Due to its properties EVA is a popular substance in footwear manufacturing, shoe soles and shoe midsole.

EVA provides shoe midsoles with lightweight, flexibility, cushioning, and shock-absorbing qualities. These functions make the EVA shoe midsole a good choice for runners and physically demanding athletes.

Some EVA midsoles are also designed with a certain degree of firmness and rigidity to improve a shoe’s performance and durability. This also results in a more-stable, durable shoe.

Some EVA heel counters are also very good at cushioning the impact for a comfortable and continued fit.

Shoe makers use EVA in midsoles because the material is extremely lightweight and easy to work with. It is also cost effective. For this reason, many athletic shoes, golf shoes, and specialty athletic footwear have midsoles made of EVA.

EVA is easy to mold and can be pigmented to adjust the color of shoe midsoles and heel counters. The production of shoe midsoles with EVA is also relatively inexpensive.

EVA for the Soles

EVA is a synthetic rubber that is formed into sheets which are either thermoplastic or pre-plasticized. It is a commonly used material in the production of shoes and has a number of uses in the manufacturing process.

EVA works best as an outsole material when the material’s shock absorbing properties are the main focus of the shoe design. It’s used in both athletic and casual shoes to offer a shoe with a good grip.

In either case, these shoes have a traction sole that absorbs shock and allows for a better fit. The rubbery elastic polymer that is used in EVA absorbs the shock of walking or running and acts like a sponge. Each time you take a step, the foot is cushioned.

If you’re looking for the best shoes for walking, comfort, and support, you’ll want to look for products that use top quality EVA material for the outsole. Some of the best items to look for are the:

Running shoes have a more cushioned outsole, while walking shoes have a thinner sole that allows the shoe to flex with the movement of the foot.

The Downside of EVA for Shoes

Although we’ve covered EVA as a shoe-material in several previous blogs, it’s worth going over again as EVA is still the most common shoe-material. When deciding which pair of shoes to buy, EVA is probably the most important factor to asses, especially when the shoes are relatively cheap.

It has been quite some time since I last bought a shoe with EVA as the construction material. I have had issues with most of the shoes I have purchased the last couple of years. They all seem to wear out in the same places. I have also had to cut my favorite pair of brown leather boots as they started rotting from the inside out.

This has led me to the conclusion that EVA is not a solid material enough to be used as a shoe-construction.

One of the main reasons for this is because there is no available data on the material. We know where the glue comes from, what kind of leather is used to make the shoe upper, and how the bottom is attached, but we have no data on the shoe’s construction within.

What to Look for in EVA shoes

Most shoes are made of either natural or synthetic (man-made) materials. Shoes made of natural materials are considered to be more breathable and often have a more natural feel. However, they are also more expensive and less durable than the synthetic types.

Shoes made of synthetic materials are often cheaper than their natural counterparts, but they usually last longer than shoes made from natural materials. They are also heavier than natural shoes, which might be an issue for people who are looking for something that’s lightweight. A popular alternative to synthetic shoes is made of EVA.

EVA stands for ethylene vinyl acetate. It is a thermoplastic material that is used to make many different types of products, like shoes.

Bottom Line: Shoes with EVA are Great

EVA stands for ethylene-vinyl acetate and is the most common material used in the insole, midsole or upper of sports shoes.

EVA is the perfect material for athletic shoes because it is extremely hard-wearing, has an extremely high friction coefficient (think the opposite of sink-through-the-floor rubber soles), is flexible and is light-weight.

The ethylene-vinyl acetate compound is also naturally resistant to degradation from sunlight. This is one of the reasons why athletic shoes that feature EVA do literally last for decades.