PORTLAND, Ore. -- You won’t see them for a couple of years, but ideas for some of the athletic shoes of the future are taking shape at the Portland Convention Center.

The Footwear Materials Show is going on Aug. 30-31, and the gathering has become a major incubator where designers see the latest materials to come up with the next generation of shoes. The Portland show has become one of the most important gatherings in the country, said organizer Hisham Muhareb.

A longtime Nike employee, Muhareb now puts together the show, which draws 258 suppliers from all over the world.

Attendees saw a presentation from PeclersParis, a company that researches sociological trends that influence fashion and other purchasing decisions.

Business Development Director Jennifer Karuletwa says her firm looks at trends three to five years in the future.

“We are seeing nature and sustainability have a big impact on design,” said Karuletwa, who added that concern with the health of our planet is reflected in fashion trends.

“There’s a sense that we’re all in this together, and that people are looking for less processed looks.”