I created Impact Footwear to change the way we think about flip flop sandals. For far too long, our consumer culture has bought into the idea that flip flops are cheap, throw away products that do damage to your feet and disposable. There had to be a better way to make a product that hundreds of millions of people buy and wear. Better not just for us, but also for the environment.
We set out to change the current process where over 95% of the production of flip flops occurs overseas using injection molded plastics and EVA foam. These flip flops are made cheaply and in mass production factories where inventory is then transported across the world contributing to even more pollution. The materials and processes used create a product that ends up in a landfill after a short amount of wear time. There had to be a better way!
Using 3D design and printing technology, we have worked the past 18 months to create the IMPACT F1 FLIP FLOP. Custom designed by you for you. It is unlike any other flip flop on the market today.
You don't have to be a shoe designer or a CAD specialist to create your own pair. We take all the hard work out of making a custom flip flop. It all starts with our 3D design tool where you become your own flip flop designer. Choosing from over 1 million unique combinations, you can design your flip flops to meet your specific needs.
Choose your insole, midsole, and outsole designs. Pick the color of your foot bed and removeable upper to match your personal style. Select from 4 uniquely designed lattice types to best fit the type of activity and support you are looking for. DESIGN YOUR PAIR NOW.
THE LATTICED MIDSOLE
These lattices have been mechanically tested by an independent lab to measure performance response when put under pressure. The outcome of these tests provided us with four levels of firmness, support, and comfort. As a result, we give you the ability to select a different comfort and support level for your toes, your arch, and your heel. Your lattice choice can behave like soft foams to harder plastics. This is a game changer allowing you to go beyond the constraints of traditional flip flops.
THE 3D PRINTING PROCESS
We have chosen Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) as our 3D printing technology. By utilizing this, we are able to provide one of the strongest and most detailed flip flop foot beds available. The process begins by generating a custom CAD design file for your pair. Once that is done, it is sent to the printer where a layer of thermoplastic powder is spread on the print bed and a laser is used to sinter the individual areas of the flip flop footbed. After thousands of layers have been processed, your flip flop is complete, building an extra strong sandal that is built to last. The excess powder not sintered is removed from the flip flop and reused in the next batch, producing nearly zero waste of materials. CHECK IT OUT!
Our prototype flip flops have been tested with a variety of thermoplastic materials and we plan to produce our launch flip flops in the soon to be available SLS powdered Pebax® that we have tested.
Pebax® elastomers are world leading high tech polymers designed for extremely high performance sports wear. They are specified by many of the world's leading brands and relied upon by world record setting athletes.
In addition, Pebax® Rnew® materials are made from the oil of the castor bean grown in the Gujarat region of India. The beans are crushed to produce castor oil. The oil is further refined during several steps to produce the primary bio-based raw material in the polymer.
THE POST PROCESSING
SEALED, STRONG & AIRTIGHT PARTS
All of our production samples and those that we ship will have undergone VaporFuse Surfacing (VFS) that delivers sealed and washable parts with injection molding like surfaces. Our vendors eco-friendly VaporFuse Eco Fluid solvent is non-CMR and approved for the processing of plastics with food contact according to regulation (EU) 10/2011. The solvent is circulated continuously in a closed loop and automatically recovered by the system. This enables a sustainable contact-free process without chemical waste.
WASHABLE AND LONG LASTING
With the materials and VFS process, your IMPACT F1 FLIP FLOPS are made to last. The midsole design is a closed surface to the interior of the shoe. This means that when dirt gets in the lattice structure, they are easily cleaned by running water over it. We took these to the beach, got sand in the lattices and were able to quickly clean them up with no hassle. In addition, because this foot bed has been sealed, there is no smell or squishy feel once they dry. They return to looking like new.
We made the foot bed and upper to be two separate parts. This way the foot bed can be cleaned and recycled, and you can change out your upper if you got bored of it or wanted a different look. We plan to ship each pair of IMPACT F1's with a molded TPU upper. This was designed and fitted by our footwear design team to fit your foot with comfort. For an even more comfortable feel, we designed an ADD-ON fabric upper that is made in the USA. This upper strap is made of recycled and organic materials that are washable and interchangeable, designed with engineered clips that connect to your F1's. We plan to offer many more environmentally conscious options after our launch. Check out how easy it is to change out the upper strap.
BECOME THE FIRST TO WEAR CUSTOM, 3D PRINTED, LATTICED FLIP FLOPS
TIMELINE AND FULFILLMENT
The Impact F1 Custom Flip Flop has gone through over a year of R&D with hundreds of tests and product iterations during the process. It’s been rigorously tested.
We are currently providing the IMPACT F1 FLIP FLOP in 11 whole sizes ranging from a Women's size 5 all the way to a Men's size 13. The limitation in sizes is currently being driven by the upper we are producing using traditional manufactured molds.
Because we want to accommodate any person who wants to buy a pair, if you require a larger or smaller size or even a wide, please still make your pledge. We will provide an alternate upper to address special sizing needs when we have you design your pair. Our Add-On Fabric Upper is being made here in the US and we can make custom sizes to fit any size foot. We highly recommend that you measure your foot and go to the size that is designated below, selecting one size higher for appropriate spacing.
I have spent the past 20+ years leading large retail and manufacturing companies. While it was an incredible experience and I learned from some of the industry's incredible entrepreneurs, I felt that something was missing. I wanted to make an IMPACT in the world of footwear and sometimes when you are focused on profit and growth, there isn't time to spend on innovation and doing what's right for the environment.
So, I created IMPACT FOOTWEAR to change the corporate view of making an IMPACT in the products we create. Using clean 3D technology and eco-friendly circular materials was critical to bringing a custom, environmentally focused product to market. Producing the foot bed in the USA was important so that it would reduce carbon emissions created in overseas transportation.
The world of consumer products being 3D printed is still in its infant stages. Some will look at the pricing of this product and question why is it so expensive? Some have commented, "I have a home 3D printer and I can do this for $20". Trust me, I have read the comments on social posts where people think it is easy to produce a product like this. For those that say that, this is not comparable to what you can generate out of a home printer. This is a production level consumer product designed with custom lattice structures built to last longer and hold up to any environment you throw at it.
The easy route, found with other footwear brands that offer a 3D product, would have been to make the same midsole lattice for everyone and call it a day. We chose to use 3D printing for what it was made for, creating a customizable flip flop built on patent pending automation that takes millions of possible combinations and produces a printable file in under 10 minutes without any human intervention.
In addition, the equipment to print this on is still slower and more expensive than traditional manufacturing. Producing locally also adds a cost. Finally, the advanced materials and the post processing of this amazing flip flop means that each shoe will undergo a multi-step process not seen in the manufacturing of traditional flip flops.
Help us change the way footwear is made for the good. It has to start somewhere, and it only takes a few to shift the industry in a greener direction.
Will you make an IMPACT?