What Makes Your Shoes Comfortable? The Role of EVA Material

Have you ever worn a pair of shoes that made you feel like you were walking on clouds? If so, you may have found yourself wondering, what’s the real difference between a shoe that starts to hurt your feet after just five minutes and a shoe that keeps you feeling great all day long?

The secret lies in the combination of care, attention to detail, and advanced technology that culminate in the design process of crafting a shoe. One such technology that’s changing the game in premium shoe construction? Ethylene-vinyl acetate, also known as EVA. 

When you see EVA material included in walking sneakers, you can trust that it was designed for optimal comfort, function, and foot health. What is EVA material, you ask? Read on to learn more about how this powerhouse of shoe materials provides superior support for your feet. 


What is EVA Material?

EVA, as we mentioned, is an acronym that stands for ethylene vinyl acetate. This complex name may seem intimidating, but don’t worry—all you need to know is that EVA is a flexible and versatile soft plastic that boasts some pretty impressive properties. 

EVA is utilized as a key material in a wide variety of products due to its possession of useful qualities such as:

  • High mechanical strength
  • Toughness at low temperatures
  • Resistance to stress cracking
  • Flexibility and lightness of weight

Thanks to these attributes, EVA material is currently utilized in everything from biomedical engineering applications to floor materials to padding equipment for a wide range of sports.

Of course, one of the most popular uses of EVA today is as a shock absorber in casual sneakers among many other variations of walking shoes. 

When you’re walking around and exerting force on your shoes all day, they need a cushion that can reduce the stress each step puts on your body and your shoes. Luckily, this is precisely what EVA excels at. 


How Does EVA Benefit Shoe Construction?

Now you know what EVA is, but what is EVA material in shoes specifically used for, and why has this material quickly become a favorite in footwear manufacturing?

EVA is a go-to choice for shoes that need to provide optimal foot support (especially during more rigorous activity) because EVA shoe material is:

  • Robust and resilient – EVA stands up remarkably well to routine wear and tear. This hardy material resists cracks, increasing the endurance of the footwear it is used in and helping your shoes stay in peak condition for longer.
  • Supremely flexible – It’s important that a piece of footwear moves with its wearer, molding to the shape of the foot and adjusting to provide optimal support with every motion. EVA material is supremely adaptable, recovering quickly from the compression of each step you take and adhering snugly to the form of your foot as it maneuvers over all kinds of terrain. 
  • Generously cushioned – The simple act of walking can put a lot of stress on our joints if we don’t support our bodies with ample shoe cushioning. EVA is favored in the world of performance and recovery footwear for its exceptional shock absorption capabilities when our feet make contact with the ground over and over again.

With a list of benefits this extensive and comprehensive, it’s no wonder why EVA has become such a renowned material choice for elevating shoes. 


EVA vs Alternative Shoe Materials

The merits of EVA are clear, but what makes it more advantageous compared to other common shoe sole materials?

Just a few of the perks that set EVA a cut above the crowd are its: 

  • Resistance to UV rays, which allows them to add value to sport and summer shoes
  • Moisture resistance, which prevents the growth of mold and mildew
  • Much of it can be recycled and/or made into new products, increasing its sustainability

Moreover, EVA is popularly chosen as a key material in the construction of modern sports shoes, slippers, and sandals, because it is incredibly lightweight, conveniently resistant to odors, and more cost-effective than other materials like natural rubber.

Smart shoe manufacturers utilize EVA due to all these positive properties so that they can pass the extra support and comfort onto the wearer.


How Does EVA Affect Shoe Comfort?

When you wear a shoe that incorporates EVA, you will feel the difference immediately. But the enhanced footwear experience this material empowers you to enjoy is so much more than just what you’ll notice initially. 

You will also feel the EVA difference hours later—after you’ve been walking around with superior support under each step. 

Finally, you’ll feel the EVA difference when you notice the increased longevity this durable material gives your shoes. 

When it comes to long-term comfort and durability, the benefits of EVA shoe material are simply unmatched. Let’s dive a little deeper to understand the specifics of what makes this material so effective. 


EVA on a Microscopic Level

If you’ve ever made the mistake of trying to walk long distances in a pair of flimsy, unsupported shoes, then you know the (literal) pain of poor-quality footwear firsthand. 

When shoe manufacturers cut corners by omitting proper cushioning or using low-quality materials to hold up the foot, you’re likely to feel the negative effects of your feet and legs being forced to absorb impact shock very quickly.

EVA effortlessly helps to relieve this common issue. In fact, it actually makes a difference on a microscopic level. 

The interconnected network of air cells present in EVA allows air to flow freely through the material. This mechanism is what helps absorb impact shock every time you take a step, because it allows your shoes to compress and decompress properly as you repeatedly move all of your body weight on and off of your shoes.


Long-Term Durability of EVA in Shoes

EVA material is known for being highly durable, which is why it is frequently used in products that need to stand up to repeated stress and last for a long time—products such as protective gear.

Out of all the clothing items you own, your shoes are without a doubt the item that takes a beating the most often. That’s why investing in orthopedic shoes that intentionally incorporate resilient materials like EVA is so important. 

Not only do durable shoes made from a high-quality EVA boast impressive longevity, but they also retain the ability to protect and support your feet properly for an extended amount of time. That means when you invest in a pair of recovery shoes constructed with EVA, you’re making a smart purchase on a shoe that will serve you and your foot health for many years to come. 


Choosing Shoes Elevated with EVA

Feeling intrigued by all the benefits offered by EVA, but you’re not sure how to get your hands on chic types of shoes that make use of this material? 

We’ve got you covered. Our collection of recovery sandals leverages the many strengths of EVA for enhanced durability and comfort:

  • Rejuvenate – This recovery slide sandal is engineered to show your feet the love and support they deserve. Designed with adjustable straps, textured footbeds, and dual-density cushioning, the Rejuvenate is a masterclass in comfort. With an EVA sole and a molded footbed, this shoe keeps your foot stable even during dynamic movement and distributes pressure evenly for maximized recovery. Slide it on for a superior walking experience and when you’re done, slip it off in seconds. 
  • Tide RX – Another sandal built to minimize the work your feet have to do while walking, the Tide RX empowers you to recover more efficiently and effectively. This innovative shoe incorporates EVA in its outsole and its footbed. Complementing this shoe’s oversized sidewall and deep heel cup, the EVA material used in this footwear’s construction molds gracefully to the foot—promoting enhanced balance, cushioning each impact, and supporting your stability with every step.  

Our footwear experts here at Vionic know that, unfortunately, many people feel like their footwear either has to be fashionable or functional—but not both. With these smart sandal styles (and all the other footwear we design) we’ve set out to prove that you don’t have to sacrifice either one. 

You deserve to look and feel your best in shoes that incorporate the latest, most advanced comfort innovations. So go ahead: Choose style and comfort. 


Experience the EVA Difference with Vionic Shoes

As the world of footwear continues to recognize the merit of EVA material, the question of “What is EVA material for shoes?” increases with curiosity and excitement. And we hope you’re just as excited as we are about the potential benefits EVA promises for footwear. 

EVA, or ethylene vinyl acetate, is a widely adopted shoe material that’s flexible, resilient, and excellent at absorbing impact shock. It’s exactly the kind of leading-edge technology that we at Vionic like to stay on top of when we design our comfortable and stylish footwear. 

Here at Vionic, we put foot health first when designing each of our shoes—so of course, we offer many styles that incorporate EVA. 

If you’re ready to experience a whole new world of comfort, functionality, and longevity in your footwear, invest in a pair of EVA-enhanced shoes from our diverse selection and feel the difference with every step. 




Science Direct. Vinyl Acetate. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/chemistry/vinyl-acetate

National Library of Medicine. Role of EVA viscoelastic properties in the protective performance of a sport shoe: computational studies. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17075164/

ResearchDive. Ethylene Vinyl Acetate Resins: Properties, Advantages, Applications, and Their Recyclability. https://www.researchdive.com/blog/ethylene-vinyl-acetate-resins-properties-advantages-applications-and-their-recyclability

Foam Sealant. WHAT IS AN EVA FOAM AND ITS COMMON USES? https://foamsealant.com.au/what-is-an-eva-foam-and-its-common-uses/

Washington Foot & Ankle Sports Medicine. The Link Between Footwear and Back Pain. https://www.rundoctor.com/blog/the-link-between-footwear-and-back-pain

Gianeco. Understanding EVA Plastic: Advantages, Applications and Sustainability. https://www.gianeco.com/en/news/56/understanding-eva-plastic-advantages-applications-and-sustainability

WasteTrade. Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) Recycling. https://www.wastetrade.com/resources/introduction-to-plastics/types-of-plastics/ethylene-vinyl-acetate-eva-recycling

Foam Creations. EVA Foam in Protective Gear: Enhancing Safety and Performance. https://foamcreations.com/en/news/eva-foam-in-protective-gear-enhancing-safety-and-performance

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