Made in Germany
Here's why Paleos® can't be cheap and why they last a lifetime!
Let us tell you a little about the product development, production and resistance of this fantastic chain material. You will very quickly realize how valuable the PaleoBarefoots® are, how much manual labor is required to produce them, and how much longer they survive other "shoes" in daily use.
In the beginning, there simply was the idea to produce barefoot shoes from chain mail. The material has already been in use for centuries to protect people. You probably immediately think on knights and soldiers, but more recent industrial applications are for butchers and fishmongers, textile and steel workers, who use chain mail gloves to protect their hands from cuts when using sharp knives, scissors and machinery. When we decided to apply this ring mesh to a barefoot shoe, and the PaleoBarefoots® was born!
Chain mail consists of many individual metal rings. Each single ring is intertwined with four more rings before it is welded to close it. This provides a very flexible but very sturdy metal mesh, which is used in various applications. So far it has successfully been applied as a protective material in the meat, fish, textile and sheet metal industries. An industry proven and effective protective fabric.
Due to the recent release of our PaleoBarefoots® there are no complete studies, but judging by the high stress 'treatment' of that gloves of this kind go through in an industrial setting: hooks, sharp points and blades, cleavers and the like, we can assume that it is almost impossible to wear down a pair of PaleoBarefoots® on natural surfaces!
We currently believe that a PaleoBarefoots will outlast a conventional Minimalist Shoe many times over without showing any functional or visual weaknesses. We are confident that only the interchangeable accessories (laces, lace locks, etc.) are subject to the normal aging process and may need to be replaced from time to time.
Step one: Material - grid mesh ring structure
► 4mm chain mail: ring diameter outside: 4.0 mm
► Ring inner diameter: 2.9 mm
► Wire diameter: 0.55 mm + / - 0.01
► Weight per m2: 2,75 Kg
► Rings per m2: about 134 700 pieces
► Sole thickness of Paleos® is ONLY about 1.4 mm!
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 to 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 material is approximately 1.4 mm. Since the structure of the material is designed to be open, on soft surfaces such as sand, soil, moss, etc., the thickness is reduces to 0 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. At first, we used artificial feet models, later on, we fitted them to living human feet. It took a lot of work until we achieved a satisfactory result, and even then a variety of post manufacture adaptations are required.
Development - Step 2:
Once a prototype is ready for production, it gets broken down into it's components (again, a manual process) and each piece is catalogued and programmed for individual production. Later on this allows the production of each component to be automated on an industrial level.
Development - Step 3:
The loose components of the PaleoBarefoots® are then carefully intertwined manually, and fused ring by ring. If everything has worked correctly, both the automated and manually produced shoe should be exact duplicates of each other. The machine-made PaleoBarefoots® should correspond exactly to the original prototype and should fit just as well.
Development - Step 4:
After welding, the individual rings in the steel mesh are no longer shiny, but are dull and matt from the immense heat used. So the next step is a process of multiple cleaning baths to polish and restore the impressive beauty and shine of the stainless steel mesh.
Development - Step 5:
After all these steps, you'd think that our PaleoBarefoots® would be ready for production. Not yet! Until now there's only one size and a single shape! Special foot models, which also first had to be "invented" for it were required to simulate cuts and bias and to determine what the materials behavior might be for all other sizes too. Since a change of foot dimensions directly affects the behavior and the length, this step was a major challenge.
Development - Step 6:
Ultimately, other options such as a double sole, separate toe compartment, personalised name tags, 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 amount of high-tech machinery as well as manual labour needed... and last but not least the ultimate longevity of the material and finished product, the price actually is very favorable. Even when their extraordinary therapeutic effects are not considered!
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". One more reason why it is almost impossible to wear them down on natural soils and surfaces, either on land and in the water. A pair of PaleoBarefoots® will last a lifetime!