Made in Germany
Why the ULTRAs aren't "cheap" and last for many years!
Let us tell you a little about the product development and production of and resistance to this fantastic chain material. This will help you understand how valuable the PaleoBarefoots® are, how much manual labor is involved in their production as well as how much longer they will last than other "shoes" in daily use.
It began with the simple idea to produce barefoot minimalist shoes from chain mail. Chain mail has been used for centuries for protection. You probably immediately think on knights and soldiers but more chain mail is currently being used by butchers,fishmongers, and textile and steel workers, who use chain mail gloves to protect their hands from cuts when using sharp knives, scissors and other sharp machinery. It was when we decided to apply this ring mesh to a minimalist shoe that the PaleoBarefoots® was born!
PaleoBarefoots® are so new that there haven’t been any long term studies yet, but judging by the high stress treatment that gloves of this kind go through in an industrial setting--hooks, sharp points, blades, cleavers, etc.-- it doesn’t seem likely for anyone to wear out a pair of PaleoBarefoots®ULTRA on natural, soft surfaces or in water.
Material - grid mesh ring structure► Stainless steel Continental European code: 1.4404
► (USA: 316L/Britain: 316S 11)
► 4mm chain mail: ring diameter outside: 4.0 mm
► Ring inner diameter: 2.9 mm
► Wire diameter: 0.55 mm + / - 0.01
► Weight per sq yd: 6 lbs
► Rings per sq yd: about 134,700 pieces
► Sole thickness of Paleos® is ONLY about 1.4 mm!
It takes around 134,700 individual rings to produce square yard of stainless steel wire mesh. Again, each ring intertwines with four others, and is individually welded one by one. The result is a completely smooth ring mesh, each ring free to move independently of the others. In addition to the cost of the high-quality stainless steel alloy used, the consistent manufacture of our products requires sophisticated technology. This results in a cost of around US$700 per square yard - and that's before we even start making the Paleos®!
Thickness of the chain mail mesh (e.g. soles of PaleoBarefoots®): Since the material does not form a flat surface and the individual rings are angled against one another, the "thickness" of the sole varies in the measurement from 1.1 mm to 1.6 mm. Thus, the average thickness of the mesh is approximately 1.4 mm
Development - Step 1:
In the process of coming up with our final designs for PaleoBarefoots® we went through many prototypes of differing models, cuts, material bias running in different directions, etc - each piece was created by hand and painstakingly assembled. we began the process using artificial foot models; later, we fitted them to living human feet. It took months of work to achieve a satisfactory result, and even then the shoe required a variety of post-manufacture adaptations.
Development - Step 2:
Once a prototype was ready for production, it was broken down into its components (again, a manual process) and each piece was catalogued and programmed for individual production. This allows the production of each component to be automated on an industrial level later.
Development - Step 3:
During assembly, the loose components of the PaleoBarefoots® are then carefully manually intertwined and fused, ring by ring. If everything has worked correctly, both the automated and manually produced shoe are exact duplicates of each other. The machine-made PaleoBarefoots® corresponds exactly to the original prototype.
Development - Step 4:
After welding, the individual rings in the steel mesh are no longer shiny, but are dull and matt from the intense heat used. The next step is a process of multiple cleaning baths to polish and restore the impressive beauty and shine to the stainless steel mesh.
Development - Step 5:
At this point, you might think that our PaleoBarefoots® would be ready for production. Not yet! Up to now there's only been one size and a single shape! Special foot models now had to be "invented" to simulate cuts and bias and to determine what the material’s behavior might be for other sizes as well. Since a change of foot dimensions directly affects the behavior and the length of the material, this step was a major challenge.
Development - Step 6:
Ultimately, other components such as lacing, spacers, locking systems, push buttons and so on are assembled. At the end of the process, each PaleoBarefoots® gets an individualised laser cut metal plate containing serial number, the PaleoBarefoots® model name, and the size. Only now the shoe is ready for sale!
Perhaps now you can better understand why the seemingly high price of the PaleoBarefoots® is actually quite reasonable. Considering the high-tech machinery as well as the manual labour involved, and especially considering the ultimate longevity of the material and finished product, the price actually is very favorable, nevermind their extraordinary therapeutic effects!
Check a site like Amazon for comparison to see how much you pay for just a SINGLE stainless steel chain mesh glove.
Important note! PaleoBarefoots® are entirely "Made in Germany". German manufacture is one more reason why it is almost impossible to wear them down on natural soils and surfaces, either on land and in the water. Properly used and well maintained a pair of PaleoBarefoots® can last for many years!