Ricardo Silva is Skypro Shoes’ new Product Director since February. With a degree, master’s degree and PhD in Chemistry, he’s been researching footwear material for several years now, with relevant work on shoe comfort. For eight years, he was responsible for Research and Quality at the CTCP — Centro Tecnológico do Calçado Português, and his experience might as well be the greatest trump in helping airline companies choosing their footwear.
What are the greatest risks of not owning proper shoes for cabin crew professionals?
Just as in other professions, cabin crew members are exposed to a number of risks, which may immediately cause injuries and discomfort, and, in the medium/long term, chronic pathologies. Among the several risks, one may underline falls, bone and muscle injuries, other chiropodies, tiredness and fatigue being the most common. Inadequate shoes lead to the occurrence of such risks, such as sprains, fractures caused by falls, bone and muscle pain, mycosis, and generalized discomfort and uneasiness, as it has been reported among aviation professionals.
When building a tender, what are the basic demands an airline company must get when purchasing footwear?
It’s important that a tender defines the elementary technical features a shoe must show, in order to minimize the risks to which professionals will be exposed to in their daily activities, being that these must be presented according to the international standards. The basic demands for an aviation shoe are definitely the selection of high-end materials with the best physic and mechanical properties, anti-skid, innocuousness (absence of dangerous chemical substances), steam permeability, among others.
What does Skypro Shoes offer technically that other competitors don’t?
Skypro Shoes offer the best materials available in the market, such as the leather in the cut and lining, the cork and PORON in the insole, and an outsole made of nitrile rubber, which ensure the best performance and allow for reduced weariness and fatigue and supreme comfort. Additionally, they present a construction and design that guarantee great anti-skid properties, stability when walking, and anti-static characteristics that prevent electrostatic charges and the possibility of passing through airport control without activating the x-ray alarms. Lastly, every Skypro model endures the same properties throughout its entire lifecycle, from beginning to end.
Do Skypro Shoes maintain the same amount of comfort the entire time?
This is a major technical challenge that many brands choose to avoid. With Skypro Shoes, comfort properties are kept the same from the moment you put on the shoe until you take it off. Such is only possible with an insole structure that presents shape-memory characteristics, which frames the foot to its own anatomy and, with an improving physic and mechanical performance, ensure the loss of thickness of the materials about 5% after a year of daily use.
What further advances is Skypro working on and when can aviation professionals try them out?
Skypro Shoes is proceeding with its continuous research, reinforced by the recent acquirement of a new researcher specialized in footwear materials, technical footwear, design methodologies, and comfort. His work will most definitely contribute, along the remaining Skypro team, so that in 2013 a new set of innovations are presented, which will project Skypro into first place when it comes to aviation footwear. In addition to the new improvements, one must highlight the process of footwear certification, which will lead to the title of first worldwide certified footwear for aviation professionals according to the EN ISO 20347:2012 standards, for occupational footwear. This technological advance will follow new solutions regarding materials, constructive structure, and comfort, which will certainly confirm Skypro Shoes as a top-level aviation footwear brand.