We had so much fun meeting the Oka-B team and learning how their shoes are made! David, Erin, Jonathan, the design team head, and Naomi, the lead designer! Oka-B is a great shoe company! They are extremely unique because their shoes are made in the United States and less than 10% of shoe companies are manufactured in the US. Their warehouse is huge. It’s a 100,000 sq foot warehouse that can handle twice as much capacity as New Balance.
We learned so much touring the factory. Did you know making shoes is a lot like making a waffle!? Oka-B makes 1200 style shoes per day and 18-20k shoes per day! Up to 2500 pairs a day of the styled shoes can be packaged to ship! Each one is decorated and packaged by hand before it’s sent out. On the other side, Okabashi ships by the truckloads to Walgreens, CVS, Whole Foods etc. 5k boxes at a time.
The materials that are poured into the machines are heated to 325′ degrees which melts on the way to the mold and fills the shoe mold in 5 seconds. The injection point is on the bottom so you’ll never see it. After the shoe is molded, the heel label / logo are set in place. This makes it easier for them to offer custom labels for clients. There are no wasted materials because any excess materials are all filtered back in to be recycled. They even use the recycled materials to make their own hangers for the shoes. This saves 60-80 pounds of trash from the land fill every year. The rotary machines you see in the video below can run all size shoes at once. They are more efficient than the typical 1200lb horizontal machines. However, the ballet flats are made on the horizontal machines because the machine polishes the shoe over and over. It also stamps the insole and logo onto the shoe. Because the insole is “melted” into the shoe, the insole never comes out. A huge plus!
Oka-b shoes are slip resistant, waterproof + they float, easy to clean + dishwasher safe, more durable, and not only are they made in the US but the materials are sourced in the US also!
Find your perfect pair on their website here at Oka-b.com!
Use code OKABGOLD16 for 20% off!