Footwear producer The Rockport Company LLC on Friday announced plans to use an anti-metallic shank in its shoes to make it easier for wearers to pass through hi-tech airport security systems.

The Massachusetts-based firm, a unit of Reebok, said it will replace the steel shank with one made from glass-filled nylon material called Fiberlon in all of the brand's new fall 2003 product.

The company said in a statement it "developed the new shank in response to consumer demand for footwear that does not activate the increasingly sensitive metal detectors used by airports for security".