When we first started DopeKicks we had one vision in mind, to build the coolest, eco-friendly, super resistant and waterproof shoes and still make it accessible to everyone.
We wanted to outperform all the other shoes in every category, and that is exactly what we have done.
We have sad news everyone, our shoe is not for smoking. Hemp is actually the “sober cousin” of marijuana. It has a minimal amount of psychoactive components, and for that reason it is legal everywhere in the world. Our team has traveled across Europe, China and the US with it, and all you get is a bunch of excited security officers wanting to take a picture of them.
Did you know hemp is so strong Henry Ford once built a car with it. It was 10x stronger than steel, and Henry Ford was so confident on the strength of the panel that he took an axe to hit the car. The axe, that would have cut through any steel panel simply bounced back.
It took us 4 months of samples and travel to find the right suppliers. We had to ensure that our material had the best strength while remaining flexible and durable.
Hemp is a material with a lot of potential. Besides being super strong, it is also very environmentally friendly. It consumes 3 times less water than cotton, and it has a minimal impact on the soil. By backing our project you are directly supporting hemp farmers from around the world.
Rubber is an ecological material that comes from the plant commonly known as “Para tree” that grows in South America, and southeast Asia. It is collected there and brought all over the world to make all kinds of tools.
But we decided to go the extra mile and actually help clean what our competitors left behind. We have partnered up with experienced portuguese outsole manufacturers to create upcycled soles made from old shoes. They are flexible, durable and save the environment at the same time.
The global shoe industry makes over 25 billion pairs a year and most of them end up in landfills, or worse, in our oceans. By supporting our project you are directly contributing to remove these dirty shoes from the environment and transform them into something good.
One of the great advantages of rubber is its strength and durability. That’s why it is used in cars. At the same time, rubber can deform and go back to its original shape even after years of action, unlike many synthetic materials like EVA that eventually deform on regular usage.
When designing our soles we had to think of a wide range of applications. We balanced a rugged design for the heavy outdoor user, that would be light enough for the casual user. By strategically carving the outsoles we got a maximum grip level with reduced overall weight.
Cork is a premium material available in nature. It comes from the cork-oak tree that has been growing for decades in Portugal. Approximately every 9 years, cork oaks grow a thick bark around them that is later collected to be processed.
After collecting the bark from the tree, it is ground and made into flat sheets. The next process is to cut it into molds and add foam for extra cushion. The process takes a few days.
Cork is a non deforming, natural cushioned material that always regains its form after many years of usage. At the same time it is temperature regulating and it keeps your feet cold in the summer and warm in the winter. That’s why some portuguese people use it in construction as insulation. With the extra foam layer, we guarantee the right mix between hardness and cushion, perfect for either hiking or casual cruising.
One of the great uses of cork is to make floors. Why? Because of the anti-microbial properties in cork which can naturally repel small vermin and insects with a waxy substance called suberin (conveniently named after the cork oak tree). This wax allows it to have water-resistant attributes and helps promote healthy feet.
We wanted to make something for the active person, the challenger, the explorer, something that could provide the best experience under any conditions, and that’s why we built it waterproof.
At DopeKicks we spent months looking for the right supplier of Hemp to guarantee a premium fabric that was not only strong, flexible, and durable but also waterproof and dustproof.
Our hemp has been made to repel all water from coming in. During the manufacturing process we added a special coating layer that would protect the fabric and its properties from stains, liquids and dust particles. This will make the fabric very easy to clean as well.
To guarantee that no water would come in we also added a special waterproof membrane, providing a total 2 layers of protection and keeping your feet dry no matter what. 100% protection against wind, cold, liquids and dust.
Currently, 90% of the world’s footwear is produced in Asia. Most of the times workers are treated very poorly including precarious salaries, endless days and scarce security in their factories.
We chose Portugal for several reasons. The local shoe industry is huge and it has been supplying top world brands with nothing but the best quality, and we know we are delivering real value to people, not only our customers but also to the employees, the ones working hard to build DopeKicks.
If we don’t get people a fair salary, how can we expect them to opt-in for a more sustainable pair of sneakers? Ford once said that about his cars, and now we ask ourselves the same thing with our shoes.
By choosing fair trade production we are empowering people so that they too can choose environmentally friendly sneakers when they go to the store. Because only together, we can change things for better.
DopeKicks is designed for the outdoors, for the urban explorers and everything in between.
Either if you are travelling in the tropics, running in the mountain or just chilling by the beach, DopeKicks will be there, because good sneakers take you to good places.
When we designed our kicks we made them in such a way to repel not only liquids but stains as well. Our special coating material makes sure that dirt doesn’t stick.
No more napkins or waiting for your shoes to dry. Just rinse the dirt off your shoes with some water and you're good to go!
Finding the right materials, the right soles and the right footbeds was just a small part of the process. In order to make something that people would use, we had to make something cool, something that we could be proud of. It took us several trials to actually reach a satisfactory result. And then it took us 2 prototypes to reach what we have now. 1 year later, we are proud of the final result.
VOTE HERE TO OPEN MORE SIZES
If you have a size 14 or 15 we invite you to vote on our survey link. We are just a few units away from opening a new size: https://forms.gle/TjycNqQGzf2EBzeg9
Risks and challenges
The last 12 months have been an incredible roller coaster, full of leaning. What started as a pretty crazy idea transformed into a real-world challenge. Our product differs because of its super materials, and getting all these combined took us quite a while.
We are very confident that our project will work, but only because we have surrounded ourselves with experts in the area that have run these type of products, logistics and operations before.
We understand and acknowledge that no project comes without risks and challenges. Despite our planning, there are circumstances that may be out of our control. If we are met with these, we promise to communicate with full transparency to you, as we have been doing so far.
- (60 days)