The SWGTREAD Board met in Boston, Massachusetts in September 2010. The primary purpose of this meeting was to learn more about the current practices in footwear manufacturing. The Quabag Corporation (the manufacturer of Vibram outsoles) and New Balance agreed to host the SWGTREAD Board at their factories.

The Board spent one day at each company. New Balance provided in-depth lectures on the current practices of footwear manufacturing in the morning and then led the group through their factory in the afternoon. Most of the time at Quabag was spent touring their facility. The companies allowed the Board to shoot photos and roll video along the tours. The Board members took advantage of this opportunity and captured valuable footage of the footwear-making process - from rubber entering the Banbury Mixer at Quabag to molding outsoles directly to shoe uppers at New Balance.

The videos and photos obtained during the factory tours have been produced into three educational videos documenting three different processes. These videos are available online via the Training Videos link under the Resources menu.

  1. Compression molding at Quabag
  2. Direct attach injection molding at New Balance
  3. Open pour polyurethane molding at New Balance

These videos are a great resource for examiner trainees or those examiners who have not had the opportunity to tour a shoe factory.