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Testing and Standards

Footwear top 3 quality control on-site tests for shoes

AQF_Top 3 des tests de contrôle qualité sur les chaussures selon le Quality Control Blog

Quality control on-site tests for shoes are utilized to detect design and production defects. Inspectors perform dozens of on-site tests for footwear: some serve to simulate usage and product degradation with time, others to make comparisons. Here are the on-site tests often lead to the rejection of a shipment:

Footwear: Top 3 quality control on-site tests for shoes

  • Press it – Bonding

Poor bonding is a major issue for shoemakers. In many cases pressing into the bonding line can reveal poor gluing.

  • Rub the fabric – Color fastness

Fabric that bleeds color, either to mix into another color or to fade quickly is a major issue for buyers of branded shoes. The rub test can detect such issues on the spot.

  • Rub the logo – Printing

Logos are important, especially for brands and in the high-fashion industry. Simulating wear and tear using dry and wet cloths and even alcohol as well as the adhesive test (or 3M test) can detect poor printing.

Top major quality problem with shoes: Poor bonding

The “press” test during a pre-shipment inspection can detect unnoticed poor bonding. Additional tests are performed on a smaller sample size:

  • Performance test

Trying out the shoe to simulate its intended use: walk, run, jump, etc. to feel the shoe for comfort and usability. This test is obviously subjective but so are the final consumers.

  • Abuse test

Check how much the shoe can take – by tearing, squeezing, pulling… basically the QC inspector simulates an angry customer.

Other essential quality control on-site tests for shoes

  • Metal detection test

Broken needles, clamps and tacks are common in shoes. It is considered to be a critical defect because it may harm the user.

  • Bend and flex test

Shoes, especially sneakers and sports shoes, need to support the foot but stay flexible. Flexing and bending the shoe repeatedly can detect weak spots such as insufficient glue or weak threads.

  • Pinch it for curing test

Whether the out-sole has been cured properly can be tested by pushing a fingernail into it. If the material rebounds, it’s a good indicator for proper curing.

Remarks: there are many other trials and quality control on-site tests for shoes to ensure symmetry, stability, fitting of insoles and many other points. The above-mentioned are the most important ones.

Why perform this kind of on-site tests?
Watch the above video “Bad bonding for shoes“!

And you: which kind of defects do you find in your shoes? Would you recommend any other quality control on-site tests for shoes?


AQF Operations team

Our team consists of supervisors specialized in various types of products. We handle client requests, analyse their instructions & specifications to provide qualitative inspection protocols to the inspectors for high quality reports. With the Quality Control Blog we want to tell stories taken from our daily activity to help the importers in sourcing better and safer. Get to know us!

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