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Trade News  |  November 7, 2019

Going beyond limits: BASF launches “Limitless,” a virtual concept safety shoe

  • BASF provides exciting material solutions for the safety shoe industry
  • Shoe features the industry’s first visible, transparent toe cap, opening up new design possibilities

Düsseldorf, November 7, 2019 - BASF unveils “Limitless,” a new virtual concept shoe at the A+A fair, highlighting its various material innovations for the footwear segment. Teaming up with i-generator, a footwear design consulting firm headquartered in Portland, U.S., BASF completely transformed the safety shoe with a bold concept, at the same time setting standards in comfort, design flexibility, lightweight cushioning and durability.

Lace-less design for higher safety and increased flexibility

Since trips and falls are major causes of workplace accidents, laces are removed in the design to improve workers’ safety. Moreover, a closed, lace-less design offers better protection from spills and allows users to slip in and out of their shoes faster.

To realize the vision of a safety shoe without laces, a knitted upper made from Freeflex® fiber is combined with a protective overlay made from Haptex®, BASF’s premium solvent-free artificial leather. Special bands engineered from Freeflex® add further stability and enhanced abrasion resistance.

Breaking boundaries in design with transparent toe cap   

BASF’s innovative technologies also enabled the industry’s first transparent toe cap made from Elastollan®. This never-before-seen alternative to a metal toe cap offers completely new design possibilities to the safety footwear industry. It also means a lighter, more agile wearing experience while at the same time fully protected and meeting safety standards.

Health and comfort as top of mind consideration

To reduce workers’ fatigue, BASF used Infinergy®, a particle foam that has unique spring and cushioning properties in the heel and the midsole of the shoe. The midsole, in particular, is lightweight with exceptional resilience and durability. In addition, the outsole insert made from Elastollan® provides good grip and abrasion resistance.

“Today, consumers are searching for lighter, sportier looks but at the same time treat comfort and safety as top priority”, said Gerd Manz, Vice President, New Markets & Business Incubation, Performance Materials. “Although “Limitless” currently exists in virtual form only, we are confident that BASF’s performance materials can usher in new design possibilities and excite safety shoe brands about the potential of the industry.”

In July, the company announced major investments in footwear research and development and is ready to support customers in its dedicated footwear centers around the world. 

“Limitless” will be presented at the A+A fair in Düsseldorf from November 5 to 8 at the BASF Booth, Hall 5, K32 or online at


About BASF’s Performance Materials division

BASF’s Performance Materials division encompasses the entire materials know-how of BASF regarding innovative, customized plastics under one roof. Globally active in four major industry sectors – transportation, construction, industrial applications and consumer goods – the division has a strong portfolio of products and services combined with a deep understanding of application-oriented system solutions. Key drivers of profitability and growth are our close collaboration with customers and a clear focus on solutions. Strong capabilities in R&D provide the basis to develop innovative products and applications. In 2018, the Performance Materials division achieved global sales of €7.65 billion. More information online:


About BASF

At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. The more than 115,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions. BASF generated sales of more than €60 billion in 2017. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (BAS). Further information at

























BASF unveils “Limitless,” a new virtual concept shoe at the A+A fair, highlighting its various material innovations for the footwear segment.
BASF unveils “Limitless,” a new virtual concept shoe at the A+A fair, highlighting its various material innovations for the footwear segment. 
Last Update November 7, 2019