Footwear Inspections

Pre-Shipment Inspections to Manage Footwear Quality

footwear inspectionA shoe often looks like a simple, cohesive unit once it’s a finished product, but footwear manufacturing actually requires careful workmanship and assembly of multiple parts. And footwear manufacturing is still largely a labor-intensive process. So human error can lead to numerous defects in the finished goods.

If you intend to deliver shoes that meet your customers’ standards for comfort, durability, style and quality, pre-shipment footwear inspection is essential. Whether you’re manufacturing performance-optimized athletic shoes or leather high heels, footwear inspection ensures your suppliers are meeting your expectations and allows you to address problems if they aren’t. 

Key Areas of Quality Control Inspection for Footwear

  • Careful measurement and fitting check of shoe’s insole length, insole width, toe lift, heel height and back height for proper fitting, symmetry and sizing requirements
  • Check for issues in stitching, including conducting seam strength tests and checks for fraying, skipped stiches, feed abrasion marks, open stitches, crooked stiches and puckered seams
  • Eyelet inspection including checks of pairing, spacing, sharp parts, deformation and looseness
  • Heel inspection including checks for denting, webbing and proper attachment by nails, screws or staples
  • On-site testing including marking and vulcanization tests for rubber outsoles, function and fatigue tests on closures, bonding tests, flex tests, rocking tests, fabric testing and verification of special features like waterproofing and stain resistance
  • Check conformance to legal requirements for footwear, including protective footwear standards, children’s footwear requirements and labeling requirements for country of origin and material composition
  • Packaging inspection including check of polybags, barcodes and carton assortment for conformance to requirements, as well as checks of retail packaging, such as shoe position within retail shoebox, proper sizing stickers, tissue paper or paper card forms and silica gels
  • Coordinating testing by an accredited laboratory to test shoe properties like slip resistance, sole wearing resistance and shoelace durability, as well as to identify issues in fabrics such as harmful substances, colorfastness, flammability, fiber analysis, light exposure and wet and dry-cleaning properties

Why Hire AQF to Manage Your Footwear Inspections?

With AQF’s detailed inspection reports, received within 24 hours, you can see images of any defects found as if you’re in the factory check the goods yourself. Quality defects are also clearly classified based on severity and their location on the shoe, using a zoning evaluation system. Footwear inspectionAnd you’ll benefit from industry-standard sampling and inspection methods that ensure your result reflects the overall quality of the order.

No matter the type of shoe you’re manufacturing, all of AQF’s footwear inspections will include attention to important checkpoints like shoe sizing, sole bonding and shoe symmetry. But we’ll also tailor our quality control inspection procedures to meet your specific standards, whether that’s through testing heel attachment strength for high heels or traction characteristics of rubber boots.

With Asia representing 87 percent of global footwear production, our experienced and professional inspectors are available for your QC needs throughout most of Asia. Contact AQF today to start managing product quality with customized pre-shipment footwear inspections!

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