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Welcome to our laboratory

Find out how our laboratory looks like. We will explain some of our testing machines and their functionalities. Get an idea about our VÖLKL Quality Management System. Back...

Tension/compression testing machine

With this machine we test the pull and compression resistance as well as the damping properties of different components of our shoes and boots. The shoe is fixed in the machine and a pressure/compression is applied on the part to be controlled. The power is slowly increased while a computer measures the applied force. Adhesive joints between the sole and the upper for example can be checked. Soles, heel stiffeners and toe caps can be systematically reviewed too and if it is necessary, improved.


This tester measures the water resistance of materials. A sample of the material is clamped into the machine, immersed in water, and subjected to a constant movement. When the water comes through the stopwatch is automatically stopped. The movement of the material simulates material compression, which occurs during a walking motion (dynamic method). The extend to which the material is compressed is totally variable and can be predefined by the tester. Through the Penetrometer it is possible to measure how long materials can actually resist water penetration.


With this machine we measure the resistance and insulation properties of the sole on extremely hot soils. The sand is heated up to 250°C / 482°F. The shoe is then put 2 cm into the sand. After 10, 20, 30 or 40 minutes the tempeture increase inside the shoe is measured. At the end, signs of damage on the shoe are examined. According to the European standard for firefighting boots (EN 15090) the boots have to be temperated to a room temperature of 22°C / 72°F before they are put into a sand bath heated up to 250°C / 482°F. Within 10 minutes the temperature increase must not exceed 20°C / 36°F (= 42°C / 108°F). The inner temperature of our boots only increases by 1,2°C / 2,1°F, an almost neglectable difference! After 40 minutes the VÖLKL sole shows no signs of damage at all.


The Flexometer checks the quality of the surface from different leather types. A leather sample is fixed into the flexometer and folded as the picture beside shows. Then the sample is subjected to a contineous movement: The pace of the movement can be set individually. Through the continual movement of the sample the surface of the leather is extremely stressed. After several hours it is possible to see whether the leather shows cracks or any other signs of fatigue.

Water-vapour-permeability testing machine

Moisture is largely responsible for the foot climate. With this machine, we can determine how breathable materials are. The test is rather simple: A receptable is filled with hygroscopic (moisture attracting) material before it is sealed and weighted with the test material. Afterwards, the receptable is put into a steamy atmosphere for a certain amount of time. After a given time, the weight increase of the receptable is measured. Thus, one can determine exactly how much moisture passed through the material.
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