Livingston & Doughty, based near Leicester, England, were founded in 1898 when Harry Livingston & Fred Doughty began selling shoe components to the rapidly growing shoe industry of the time. The company has therefore had a long history supplying the shoe trade and over time the production of cork spread bottom filler has become the main part of their business. Livingston & Doughty supply most of the long established and well known English shoe manufacturers of Northamptonshire such as Church & Co, Joseph Cheaney, John Lobb, Crockett & Jones, Loake shoes, Grenson shoes and Barker shoes, and many other famous names. They also have, for many years, exported their widely respected formula, known as Flexofil, all over the world to places such as the North American continent, South Africa, Australia, the Far East and Europe, including Holland, France, Italy, Portugal and Spain.
Cork is widely recognised to be by far the most superior type of material to use in this type of application, because of its flexibility, water repellency, low density and durability. It offers both excellent shock absorption and the unique properties of cork also help to provide insulation against extremes of temperature. Furthermore, it is, of course, environmentally friendly. Together, all of these qualities cannot be found in any man made product. Used predominantly in the production of welted footwear, Flexofil can also be used in other types of footwear construction.
Essentially, Flexofil is a granulated cork paste which can either be hand applied with a spreading knife or, and most widely used in this way, using our high performance automatic injection machines that can be supplied by us, for larger scale production.
Using Flexofil in the shoe bottom, it not only completely fills the cavity of any desired bottom shape, but most importantly, it will adopt the form of the foot creating not only maximum comfort for the wearer in a truly bespoke manner, but unrivalled cushioning due to the cellular structure of the cork. Furthermore, as well as adhering to, and helping to reinforce the insole, it will help to eliminate any clicks and squeaks which can be caused by the shank area. Since Flexofil will fill all gaps and help to seal any stitch holes, it should also help to ensure that the shoe is resistant to water penetration and avoid moisture traps, which can eventually cause odours and de-generation of the bottom. It dispenses with the need to cut to size inferior substitutes such as felt or EVA, as it will fill any desired shape or size, without waste.