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Additive Manufacturing Brings Enhanced Comfort to Iconic Hush Puppies Brand

Voxel8 patented technology will provide printed lattice structures to be used as inserts in midsoles

Published: Wednesday, July 14, 2021 - 12:00

(Voxel8: Somerville, MA) -- Hush Puppies, the iconic Wolverine Worldwide brand, will commercialize Voxel8’s digital manufacturing technology in unique midsoles that provide enhanced comfort, support, and longevity.

The Hush Puppies brand has always inspired the casual lifestyle through optimism and fun and it has withstood the test of time by continuously seeking innovation in comfort and style for its loyal customers. Collaborating with Voxel8 will further elevate comfort and inspire sustained optimism in its customers for a long time to come.

Founded in 2014 from Harvard University, Voxel8 leverages more than a decade of research and 25+ patents on printing functional features on fabrics. Voxel8’s ActiveLab system offers a complete turnkey solution, including precision hardware, integrated software, and advanced materials. According to Voxel8’s CTO and co-founder, Travis Busbee, “Our printed lattice structures with precisely tuned mechanical properties are being used as inserts in midsoles to provide enhanced shock absorption. Moreover, we have measured no change in the shock absorption and four times less thickness change after 100,000 cycles, as compared to traditional foams. Our sustainable and scalable technology transforms how footwear is developed and produced, with shorter design cycle times and no-tooling manufacturing. Our software-driven digital manufacturing opens the door to cost-effective, customized designs in the future.”

“Voxel8 technology is gaining global commercial traction in casual and athletic footwear, and Wolverine and Hush Puppies are valued partners on this journey,” says Friedrich von Gottberg, CEO of Voxel8. “We are delighted to support new product innovation at Hush Puppies, ramping up production from our facility in Somerville, MA and expanding to Asia for volume production.”

“Hush Puppies is excited to build on our history of comfort innovation with the Voxel8 partnership,” notes Kate Pinkham, VP/GM of Hush Puppies. “The brand invented casual 60+ years ago, and we are committed to bringing a fresh, innovative approach to the brand as we look to ‘Reinvent Casual’ for the next 60 years.”

About Hush Puppies

In 1958, Hush Puppies introduced the world to a new kind of footwear; shoes with casual style and an easygoing attitude made to relax in. Hush Puppies is a global brand, a household name, and a cultural icon that embodies the lighthearted spirit of its beloved basset hound. It is the go-to footwear, accessory, and apparel brand that delivers the right mix of timeless style and dependable comfort. Hush Puppies is a division of Wolverine Worldwide Inc., one of the world’s leading marketers and licensors of branded casual, active lifestyle, work, outdoor sport, athletic, children’s, and uniform footwear and apparel. For more information, visit www.hushpuppies.com.

About Wolverine Worldwide

Founded in 1883, on the belief in the possibility of opportunity, Wolverine Worldwide Inc. is one of the world’s leading marketers and licensors of branded casual, active lifestyle, work, outdoor sport, athletic, children’s, and uniform footwear and apparel. Through a diverse portfolio of highly recognized brands, Wolverine Worldwide products are designed to empower, engage and inspire our consumers every step of the way. The company's portfolio includes Merrell, Saucony, Sperry, Hush Puppies, Wolverine, Keds, Chaco, Bates, HYTEST, and Stride Rite. Wolverine Worldwide is also the global footwear licensee of the popular brands Cat and Harley-Davidson. Based in Rockford, Michigan, for more than 130 years, the company’s products are carried by leading retailers in the United States and globally in approximately 170 countries and territories. For additional information, visit website www.wolverineworldwide.com.

About Voxel8

Founded in 2014 from Harvard University, Voxel8’s sustainable, multimaterial digital manufacturing technology is revolutionizing how footwear, apparel, and related products are designed and manufactured. Voxel8’s ActiveLab solution digitally prints flexible elastomeric materials with on-the-fly tuning of mechanical properties, thus providing embedded functionality and high-resolution graphics in a no-tooling, manufacturing process. Voxel8 enables rapid product development to prototyping to production, allowing brands to react quickly to market trends and consumer demands in real time, and realize the potential for customization and local production. Learn more at www.voxel8.com.

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For 40 years Quality Digest has been the go-to source for all things quality. Our newsletter, Quality Digest, shares expert commentary and relevant industry resources to assist our readers in their quest for continuous improvement. Our website includes every column and article from the newsletter since May 2009 as well as back issues of Quality Digest magazine to August 1995. We are committed to promoting a view wherein quality is not a niche, but an integral part of every phase of manufacturing and services.