Ziera is about looking gorgeous and so design and fashion is a key part of the shoes. Our designers travel to the big shoe fairs in Europe twice each year to seek out future fashion trends.
After this our styling team sets about interpreting the look for Ziera customers. The aim is to capture the fashion, while keeping the fit and feel that sets Ziera apart.
At each step in the process, checking for quality is everyone's responsibility. This means shoes don't get to the end of the process before mistakes are picked up.
In addition, all materials and components used in making our shoes, and the finished shoes themselves, are rigorously tested in our laboratory.
As an example, we put our leather through a rigorous process of 13 different tests to ensure it's super soft and yet tough enough to wear well.
Only the best leather is used and each hide is quality checked. Pattern pieces are cut by 'clickers' who use cutting dies and a hydraulically operated press to cut all shoeupper and lining sections.
The leather pieces are all marked with pattern instructions and skived (or thinned) at each point where they'll be folded or overlapped.
At Ziera we make our own polyurethane soles, which are filled with tiny bubbles of air that cushion your feet with each step. PU is also light, flexible, slip resistant and hard wearing. Steel shanks are built into the soles of the shoe; give essential support to the arch of the feet and ultimately the back.
Uppers, soles, sock linings, and extra comfort features such as arch cushions and memory cushioning insoles all come together here.
A stiffener is shaped into the back of the shoe between the leather and the lining. This helps keep the shoe fitting around your heel.
The insole is attached to the upper while being shaped over a 'last' (the shoe mould that has been developed to be exactly the right shape for that style, size and width).
The lasting process uses heat to give the leather malleability and then freeze moulds it into shape. The 2-dimensional pattern pieces have now been transformed into a shape that is starting to look like a shoe!
Now it needs to be attached to the matching sole. The bottom of the leather is first roughened up, then glued, then placed in another heating unit which fuses it to the sole. After going through a cooler the last is removed and you have your shoe!
Inlays of memory cushioned Poron ® are inserted into our shoes as an additional comfort feature. This material bounces back after each step and will not flatten. The shoes are then sprayed and buffed to give the leather a good finish before being given a final inspection and boxed for despatch.