Carbon fiber is a revolutionary material that is as strong as steel with a fraction of the weight. Bont cycling (the manufacturer of Bont Rowing shoes) has been producing carbon based footwear since 1989. The material is mainly comprised of carbon atoms that are bonded together and aligned to form the long axis of the fiber. Several thousand of these fibers are twisted together to form a yarn which is then in turn woven into a fabric. We source our carbon exclusively from the world’s #1 carbon manufacturer, Toray of Japan.
3k plain is a tightly woven carbon that is used in the aircraft industry and is what we use in Bont Rowing shoes.
Unidirectional is what we use inside shoes like the a-one to make them extremely stiff. The benefit of unidirectional carbon is that we can choose which direction we want to lay the carbon and we can produce extremely stiff, light weight shoes using it.
This is a cheaper form of carbon that is not as strong as 3k and is around 20% cheaper.
In the old days, if you bought a plastic or nylon based shoe, you knew what you were getting. But now-a-days, with all these modern expensive materials, it's getting tougher, so here are some ways that manufacturers use materials that you need to watch out for.