Ecco's "ultimate" sailing shoe will make its first appearance at the Southampton Boat Show next month.

Over £150,000 has been invested in the research and development of Ecco's first ever sailing shoe, which comprises 87 components. The six pairs of prototype shoes are worth around £30,000, the company said.

The shoe will make its maiden voyage with the crew of the catamaran Team Philips on its round the world record attempt. In a bid to reduce weight and increase speed, the crew members will only be taking one pair of Ecco shoes with them for the race.

Pete Goss, skipper of Team Philips, said: "The Ecco shoe is simply unique. Taking only one pair on board is a bonus, but even more important for Team Philips are the revolutionary design features that Ecco is incorporating."

Ground-breaking manufacturing techniques were used to increase the shoe's durability, flexibility and support without compromising on comfort. The shoe is made from high-tech materials including asphalt for reinforcement of the real rubber surface and polyurethane, phylon and rubber in the sole, which are difficult to combine successfully. The outsole, made of a combination of rubber and polyurethane is durable, crack resistant and has good 'sure-grip' qualities. The shoe also has a self-draining system that allows water to drain out auromatically.

The materials, which will endure extreme temperatures ranging from -30˚ C in the Southern ocean to the heat of the Tropics, have undergone rigorous wear and tear testing at Ecco's headquarters in Denmark.

Traditionally Ecco has designed footwear for everyday use, so the sailing shoe represents a move into new territory for the Danish company.

Team Philips is Pete Goss' revolutionary 120 foot carbon fibre catamaran built to win The Race, a global drag race of the fastest yachts in the world starting from Barcelona on the stroke of midnight, December 31 2000

Pete Goss and his all-British crew will compete against the biggest, fastest, fleet of yachts ever seen in The Race, the brainchild of Bruno Peyron, the first man to sail around the world in less than 80 days.