Does the world need another line of EVA-based shoes? Eric Saligumba thinks so. He is the founder of Crosskix (Portland, OR), which makes shoes out of ethylene-vinyl-acetate (EVA), the same type of material used by Crocs and Native Shoes. His edge is that he uses four molds instead of just one to fabricate his shoes, imparting flexibility that is woefully absent from his competitors' footwear.
"By molding four sections separately and then assembling them into the final product, we are able to produce shoes that function and feel more like canvas, leather, or mesh shoes. You can wiggle your toes!" says Saligumba.
To achieve heightened flexibility and comfort, the upper part of the shoe is bonded to the outsole, allowing more control of the softness and grade, explains Saligumba. "The instep strap is attached using a plastic fastener, which swivels freely and allows the user to adjust the fit from loose to snug. And the side strap is bonded to the upper, keeping the heel in place when you're walking or running," says Saligumba. Have you ever tried to run in a pair of Crocs? he asks rhetorically. Well, you can in Crosskix.