Your next sneakers could be made from apples, grapes, or even cacti… and they’re MUCH better for the environment.




Apples, pineapples, grapes, corn… no, these aren’t ingredients for a fruit salad. These are what the MoEa sneakers are made from. Using a unique technology that turns fruit into footwear, MoEa is ushering in an era of vegan leather that’s just as good as the real deal. Why? Because these plant-based leathers emit 89% less carbon than regular leather… and they help us deal with our massive food-waste problem too.

Designers: Achille Gazagnes, Benoit Habfast & Simon de Swarte

Click Here to Buy Now: $106 $154 (31% off). Hurry, only 15/189 left!

Choose among 5 plants: Corn, Pineapple, Apple, Cactus and Grape.

MoEas are sustainable, PETA-approved vegan, and recyclable.

It’s easy to dismiss vegan leathers as some sort of ‘gimmick’, although at scale, leather production has an undeniably ugly impact. Animal breeding accounts for over 10% of all global carbon emissions, and leather tanning results in tonnes of toxic chemicals making their way into our soil and water. Moreover, slaughtering an animal for making a shoe seems a little like overkill if you ask me. The obvious alternative footwear material, plastic, has a reputation that precedes it. Aside from being virtually impossible to recycle, plastic footwear will erode over time, causing microparticles to enter our ground, air, water, and eventually, our food cycle.

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MoEa believes they have a better alternative that knocks two birds with one stone. Not only do they replace the traditional leather and plastic with bio-materials, but they rely on food-waste like grape pulp from the Italian wine industry, pineapple leaves from the Philippines fruit industry, non-edible corn from the American corn industry, and unassuming cactus leaves from Mexico. Turning waste into raw materials, MoEa bind these fruit and plant fibers with cotton, or blend them with bio-polyurethane to create a new family of biomaterials that have a measurably lower impact on the environment. They look and feel just like leather, while being breathable, recyclable, and as an added bonus, cruelty-free.

An abbreviation of the words Mother Earth, MoEa strongly believes that the best way to pivot the fashion industry is to physically show that it’s absolutely possible to build products that are sustainably made. The movement starts at MoEa’s headquarters in Italy, arguably the epicenter of global fashion. Surrounded by companies that are a part of the ‘fast fashion’ problem, the folks at MoEa decided to pave the way forward as an entirely sustainable footwear company. I say entirely because each MoEa sneaker is built sustainably from inside to out.

On average, each sneaker is roughly 49% plant/fruit by composition. The insole is made from a soft, breathable 100% recycled wood fiber, while the soft inner lining of the shoe is a moisture-wicking recycled bamboo fabric. Based on the style of shoe you choose, the outer body could be made from a variety of leathers, ranging from food waste generated by apples, grapes, corn, pineapples, or even just harvested cactus leaves. The individual vegan leather pieces are stitched together and glued to a 40% recycled rubber outsole with a water-based glue, before being finished off with organic cotton laces. Even the box that the shoe comes in is made from recycled paper, and is devoid of any plastic or even extra paper frills. All the important instructions to take care of your shoe are directly printed on the inside of the box.

It’s justified to be a little skeptical of footwear made out of fruit – I’d be too – although MoEa’s done their fair bit of R&D to ensure that the shoes perform as great as they look. The shoes are designed to be water-resistant and tested for durability. They’re produced by skilled workers at MoEa’s supply center in Portugal and the company’s even committed to building a circular economy around the product. At the end of the sneakers’ life-cycle, consumers can ship them back to MoEa for free in return for a 10% discount on the next pair of shoes. The returned footwear will be appropriately disassembled, shredded, and repurposed into a fresh set of sneakers, helping reduce overall waste while minimizing the shoe’s carbon footprint. As they say, an apple sneaker a day keeps carbon emissions at bay.

Click Here to Buy Now: $106 $154 (31% off). Hurry, only 15/189 left! Raised over $80,000.

Futuristic Footwear Concepts that we wish Nike and Adidas would make already!

When it comes to cool and innovative shoes, designers are leaving no stones unturned. Creativity is at an all-time high, the tech is futuristic,  and ergonomics and style quotient are given equal importance. Although most of these inventive sneaker designs are still concepts, that doesn’t stop us from drooling all over them! From conceptual electrified Tesla football shoes to an Adidas Air Jordans concept, these sneaker designs are as futuristic and fashionable as they get. This collection of conceptual shoes will have you begging Nike and Adidas to transform them into a reality! Enjoy.

Former designer at Nike and Adidas, Hussain Almossawi, found himself asking a question. As a Tesla enthusiast, what if the company with its resources, creativity, and incredibly wealthy CEO, decided to go beyond sports cars and design sports apparel instead? The conceptual Tesla Football Shoes combine Hussain’s love for football and for the Tesla brand into one positively radiant pair of performance sportswear. The shoes come in pristine white, with electroluminescent fabric woven into the sides and back, creating bright lines on the side, leading to a glowing, pulsating Tesla logo at the back. Moreover, the studs on the base of the shoes glow too, making them look exceptional in the dark but even more so when you’re dribbling away with the ball, creating one of the most beautiful light streaks as you run!

Designer Thomas Le decided to take a stab at creating conceptual Adidas Air Jordans. The Adidas Air Jordans sport a very contemporary space-inspired aesthetic, tipping their hat not only at the progress we’ve made with space travel over the past few years but also sort of giving a nod to Jordan’s 1996 film Space Jam. Built with the classic Boost outsoles and their bubbly texture, the Adidas Air Jordans outsoles extend all the way to the back of the heel. The lifestyle sneaker also opts for a laceless design, with elastic fasteners on each side, along with an outer body that’s been knit to hug your feet for a secure fit. They’ve been rendered in three colors, for now… an astronaut-ish white, a space-gray, and a coral-white-black combination that feels like a contemporary take on the original Air Jordans color scheme.

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Taking spike positioning details from Adidas’ Track Spike and Combine Cleat, and taking into account wind flow analysis around the foot, Daniel developed the conceptual Adidas ONE/1. The ONE/1 wraps around your shoe like a second skin but doesn’t look like one. Designed to be made out of interconnected cylindrical channels, the ONE/1’s design looks like a loosely woven mesh that’s breathable and effective. In fact, the cylindrical wraparound makes up the entire shoe. It stretches with ease, guides air around the foot efficiently while minimizing drag, and provides a secure yet spring-like quality, adding to the foot’s performance, making it better. The ONE/1 also looks nothing short of incredible. The aesthetic it explores isn’t just new and unique, it also looks incredibly hard to replicate.

Say hello to probably the most bizarre shoe collab in history. This pair of Nike Air-Jordans X Crocs collaborative clogs surely will make you feel a bunch of things, including, hopefully, a second reckoning. While the idea of footwear co-created by Nike, Jordan, and Crocs may sound absurd at first, these clogs honestly don’t look all that bad. I mean hey, I’d wear them… probably. The shoes come in the distinctive single-piece design that’s archetypal to the Crocs brand, with a silhouette that seems familiar too. Its details, however, borrow influences directly from the Air Jordan 1, with a perforated toebox and that iconic swoosh that wraps around the back of your foot, becoming the heel-strap.

Designer Denis Agarkov’s thought process behind the ICARUS-4 Space Sneaker is simple. If we’re going to get humans into space, shouldn’t we also have an extraplanetary sense of design to match? The ICARUS-4 are conceptual sneakers for zero-gravity lifestyles… Designed for astronauts to provide maximum flexibility during repairs and maintenance, but cool-looking enough to be a universal fashion statement, the ICARUS-4 comes with a unique aesthetic that’s equal parts suited for a spacewalk and a ramp-walk. You’re looking at a shoe that sports an Ortho-Fabric body (the kind found on EMU suits) and a metal clasp to secure the footwear, with luminescent markers to allow you to wear the shoe in low-light conditions. The most interesting detail, however, is the shoe’s two-part sole design.

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The 3D Surprise shoe was created as a result of conceptualizing directly in 3D CAD software, rather than sketching first and building later. The conceptual shoe features a unibody design with a subtle gradient from top to bottom, visually creating a separation between shoe and outsole, while there’s no surface break between the two. Harnessing the shape of the foot, building on the bones and muscles within, the 3D Surprise was envisioned as a new-age hiking boot with a design that was simple and sophisticated looking. The shoe comes with an exaggerated protrusion detail for the ankle bone and a textured sole that looks industrial and organic at the same time.

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A designer in Moscow is working on “self-wearing” shoes. Inspired by how chemical reactions in a Venus Flytrap enable it to close down its jaws on any unsuspecting prey (remember, plants don’t have muscles or a nervous system), the Biomech Sneaker concepts borrow not just the idea of clamping themselves onto the wearer’s feet but even the aesthetic. Designer Ilyas Darakchiev worked out two conceptual designs based on the principle where the shoe wraps itself around the wearer’s ankle the minute his/her foot slips in, and even went on to build prototypes of how the shoes would actually work in real life. There are no wires involved, or power supplies like Nike’s HyperAdapt that need charging in order to self-lace (yeah, a $720 shoe that needs to be charged to be worn).

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Carota Design’s Nike self-lacing sneaker concepts literally look like they’re from the future. With hard-shell components and gloss/matte finish contrasts, they don’t look or feel like traditional shoes at all, aside from the familiar silhouette, which definitely is a good thing. Designed to highlight the futuristic aspect of shoes that secure themselves, the conceptual sneakers come with a red lace that stands well against the black sneakers. The laces travel from the outsole to the front, and then to the heel, where they connect to a motor that’s triggered by a button. Tap against the button and the motor tightens the laces up, securing the shoe in place. Tap a second time and the laces loosen, allowing you to slip your shoe out! A textbook ‘shut up and take my money product!

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Since 2008, Nike’s Flywire design has continued to evolve, but most have integrated the strategically placed cables beneath textile. Rather than hide this dynamic tech, the Nike Untitled 7 shoe concept highlights it as a primary footwear feature. The Flywire is stretched and extends through the sole to the upper portion of the shoe, much like a suspension bridge. The cables wrap over the top of the foot onto the other side of the shoe, securing the foot to the sole and upper. So as not to mess with the delicate cable balance, an integrated zipper opening on the inside of the shoe allows for easier access while refining the aesthetic.

Not your average shoe-customization project, Moscow-based Ilyas Darakchiev managed to completely uplift a pair of Adidas TR7 sneakers by redesigning its outsole to look positively monstrous. Titled the ‘Beton’ project, Ilyas sought out to customize his pair of sneakers differently. While people paint shoes, switch materials, swap parts like shoelaces, Ilyas’s project was more additive, if you will. Using modeling clay and its associated tools, Ilyas added volume to the sneaker outsole, giving it a thick, eye-catching, aggressive avatar, complete with shark-teeth-inspired details at the very base. While the modeling clay essentially was meant for a strictly aesthetic proof-of-concept, I’d imagine outsole customization, to the extent that Ilyas pushed it, should be quite possible with the correct set of tools. A resin mold, a rig to securely hold the shoe, and some high-quality polyurethane and boom!

Taco Baby Booties: For Your Little Burrito

Tacos: they’re tied with pizza for the food I’d pick if I could only choose only one kind to eat for the rest of my life on a deserted island. Let’s just hope it never comes to that though, because I love both dearly. Handmade by Gulnara Kydyrmyshova and other women in her Kyrgyzstan community, these Taco Booties available from Uncommon Goods make the perfect footwear for getting your young one started on Taco Tuesdays at an appropriately early age.

The Taco Booties are constructed of sheep’s wool that’s dyed, spun, and felted in small batches so no two booties are exactly alike. They cost $25 per pair (the only way to order tacos) and are designed to fit 6 to 12-month-old baby feet. But is that going to stop me from trying to wear a pair? Yes. I’m hungry, not crazy.

Now I just need a pair of pizza booties so I can mix and match my baby’s footwear. Not unlike how I’m wearing two different colored socks today. That’s the great thing about working from home though – there’s nobody here to make fun of me except my wife. Who, incidentally, makes fun of me harder than my whole office used to. I miss going to work sometimes.

[via Dude I Want That]

3D printed Adidas 4DFWD sneakers with a new cushioning tech is set to redefine the sneaker industry!





If Adidas is to be believed, they might have created the most advanced running shoe of them all. The highly advanced shoe is deemed to give runners an all-new capability they’ve not experienced so far. They call it the 4DFWD sneaker – crafted using high-tech 3D printed performance technology. Working in close quarters with Carbon, the shoe results from 17 years of athlete-driven data and the Digital Light Synthesis technology coming together to create an advanced Adidas shoe unlike anything so far. According to Alberto Uncini Manganelli, SVP and GM Adidas Running & Credibility Sports at Adidas, “We’re always looking to combine athlete insights with new and innovative technologies to create the best performance running products.”

The redesigned 4D midsole crafted from 39 percent bio-based materials has the rare bowtie-lattice pattern. The lattice structure is one in a five million structure, resulting in a forward motion (three times more in testing results) from the runner’s vertical forces. This is the sheer dedication by Adidas and Carbon’s teams to achieve a final design that ensures a gliding sensation for runners. As Alberto Uncini added by saying, “This industry-first midsole innovation positions Adidas 4DFWD as our most advanced digitally printed running midsole yet and showcases the potential of 4d technology in turning physics and bio-mechanic studies into performance solutions.” The unique design also brings to the fore a reduced braking force (by 15 percent) and a 23 percent increase in cushioning for ultra-comfort. 4DFWD makes use of Primeknit upper made out of lightweight recycled polyester, which means a perfect fit for the runner. In keeping with the sustainable design aesthetics, the midsoles are made from 39 percent bio-based materials.

Adidas 4DFWD sneakers will initially drop in the Core Black/Solar Red option on the Adidas app. The revolutionary sneakers will cost around $236 via signup that’ll last till May 16 for Creators Club members. The registration will be followed by the Tokyo Collection up for pre-order on July 1, with the shoes becoming available from the August 12. The collection will be the main podium shoe for athletes in Tokyo Summer Olympics, making this the shoe of the season!

Designer: Adidas

The iconic Adidas Ultraboost DNA can now be customised with LEGO bricks!

Last year Adidas and LEGO collaborated, and successfully released the LEGO x Adidas ZX8000! They were a pair of colorful and quirky shoes that were well-received and loved. Continuing this tradition, Adidas and LEGO teamed up to create another brilliant shoe that has LEGO lovers and sneakerheads all geared up! They recently announced the launch of the Adidas Ultraboost DNA x LEGO Plates. It’s definitely more toned down and subtle as compared to the ZX8000, but the Ultraboost really don’t need much to boost them up. Almost everyone swears by these iconic sneakers since they were released in 2015….including me (I wear them on all my runs)! The foot-hugging and comfy kicks have been elevated by the addition of LEGO to their design.

Priced at $200, the sneakers feature transparent plastic slots on each side instead of Adidas’s famous stripes! These slots have been shaped after two-by-six LEGO plates, which basically means you can slide in three two-by-two LEGO bricks into the slots! The shoes do come along with a collection of bricks in classic primary colors, which you can fit into the slots. However, you can also add in any bricks that you may already have at home! Honestly, it feels like playtime with shoes, and I’m loving the idea of it. The sneaker also displays a white Primeknit (Adidas’ high-performance recycled material) upper and midsole foam. The foams boast a metallic silver toe guard, side strips, and heel counter. The toebox and the sole of the shoe also feature a brick-style pattern on them. The sole comes in a cheerful LEGO yellow, as does the interior lining. In fact, there’s a LEGO logo on the tongue of the shoe as well. All these delightful little features accentuate the LEGO feel further!

The customizable Adidas Ultraboost DNA x LEGO Plates are a pair of amusing and interactive kicks that you can actually engage with. Sliding LEGO bricks into your shoes is an experience that will definitely take you back to your childhood! In an age where fashion and sportswear are taken so seriously, it’s heartwarming to see Adidas adding a bit of fun and frolic to our footwear, and that too in the form of LEGO…I mean who can resist that? Although I do despise stepping on LEGO with my foot, I wouldn’t mind it on my footwear!

Designer: Adidas x LEGO





 

Origami-inspired product designs that promise to add a sense of Ikigai to your life!

There’s something so soothing and therapeutic about the Japanese art of Origami. Some may say it’s simply folding paper, but it is much more than that. Though I may not be very good at it, almost everything made using this technique is always super pretty and you feel like secretly storing it away from clumsy hands. Origami has been a major source of inspiration for designers. They’ve been integrating this technique into many of their designs, and the result is minimal, artistic, and beautiful products that instantly make you feel at ease. We’ve curated a collection of origami-inspired designs – from a minimal tea table that was inspired by it to a shoe grip inspired by Kirigami (a variation of Origami). Each of these designs will invoke a sense of peace and serenity within you, and you would love to add them to your daily life and living space!

Hasu transforms itself as the tea ritual progresses making it a contemporary piece of furniture that still pays a tribute to the process. It starts as a minimal compact structure and ends as a complete furniture set for tea time. Hasu’s design allows storing an extensive tea collection while presenting it in a unique and clean manner – it is almost like you can fold or unfold the tea time ritual like origami. There is a lot of storage for all the objects needed for tea rituals and the table allows you to present them one by one during tea time, it is all on-site so everything is handy as well as neatly tucked away. The unfolding of the four upper tabletops marks the beginning of the tea time ritual. Extend the seating to four guests by simply pulling the floor chairs from the table. Even when it is not in use, it still upgrades the space as an abstract piece.

The Origami Bottle may have a solution to that convenient problem. Designed to be reusable, but more importantly, be collapsible, the Origami Bottle folds down to 20% of its original size when not in use. Small enough to easily fit into any bag without occupying much space, the Origami Bottle neatly folds down to a nice, portable puck that’s easy and convenient to carry around. When you need to fill it up, the bottle opens up to a full size of 25oz (750ml). Made from a food-safe non-toxic TPE, the Origami bottle is characterized by its network of creases that cover the bottle’s sides. These creases act as fold lines, allowing the bottle to collapse and expand whenever you want it, but here’s where the Origami bottle’s design shines through.

With the Imagiro, the carpet isn’t just a carpet anymore, but instead is an imagination-fueled origami art-installation that decorates your home (or even a hotel/retail space) in all three dimensions, displayed as a part of the Wayon showcase by EINA University of Design, Barcelona.

The Clixo magnetic building set presents the most dramatic change to this classic idea, by disregarding the need for block-shaped pieces entirely. Instead of sticking to the tried-and-true design of geometric shapes, the Clixo pieces are thin and flexible, almost like a sheet of origami paper. Some of the pieces mimic the shape of a fidget spinner, with four leg-like structures with circular, magnetic connectors. What are the advantages of this design? Firstly, it allows a Clixo to do what a lego can’t: fold inward and attach to its own legs. Secondly, it allows you to build anywhere (literally). Conventional building blocks must be stacked on a flat surface, otherwise, they’ll topple over. Clixo pieces aren’t limited by that constraint. You can build a new creation on your lap, wrap them around your wrist like a bracelet, or even stick them on your fridge like magnets.

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The FODI is a nifty little stand for your tablet and smartphone. When flat, it measures a cool 1mm thick and uses the powers of Origami to fold open into a convenient stand that lets you dock your smartphone or tablet onto it at a convenient angle for watching videos, movies, or just regular video-chatting. The FODI is made from polymers that provide strength over periodic use (the PP gives it its flexible ability). Designed with alluring patterns like marble, granite, wood, or even graphical designs, the FODI goes rather well with the tech that docks on it as well as the decor around you. Its incredibly slim profile even means you can carry it around with you in your tablet-sleeve or backpack. If only it could wirelessly charge your devices too, that would just be perfect!

Inspired by the techniques used for origami, this compact and portable headphone is designed to fit into just about any space. Being a practical device, it is waterproof, dust-proof, and durable. Designer Vedang Kulkarni has kept in mind the key aspects of functionality and transformation. Needless to say, all controls are intuitively placed, so that you can access and adjust them easily. Audiball is your personal headphone and a smart speaker on the go. The telescopic headband is stylish and looks very chic as an accent in the speaker mode. Features include active noise-canceling technology for a better listening experience.

A century ago, not a soul would have imagined the advances in medical science we have achieved. Taking the evolution of medical surgeries a step further, MIT engineers have crafted an origami-inspired medical patch that can wrap around your internal organs with the utmost ease. This design makes it pretty useful in application to internal injuries or sensitive parts of the internal organs – airways, intestines, or hard-to-reach spaces. Aesthetically speaking, the design appears just like a foldable piece of paper; this patch contacts the tissues and organs. After that, it morphs into a thick gel that stays firmly on the injured area until it heals. The patch is made up of three layers – the top layer is an elastomer film consisting of zwitterionic polymers that become a water-based skin-like barrier. The middle layer is the bio-adhesive hydrogel having the compound NHS esters to form a strong bond with the tissue surface. The bottom layer is made up of silicone oil to prevent it from sticking to the body surface before reaching the intended target.

The University of Cambridge and The University of Queensland teamed up to create ‘The HappyShield’. The HappyShield is an origami face shield, that is created by simply folding a piece of clear plastic. The shield basically comprises a clear sheet and some elastic. Employing the curve-crease origami technique, the translucent plastic is folded on a template, and merged with a piece of elastic to create The HappyShield! The shield is very easy to make, and not does require 3D printing or any other complicated techniques. It can simply be made by hand and manufactured in bulk!

MIT engineers introduced a shoe grip, that was inspired by Kirigami – a variation of origami! It’s quite similar to snakeskin and is a sturdy friction-boosting material that will provide you with a stronger grip, especially when walking across a slippery surface. The super grip was designed bearing in mind older adults, as they are more prone to slipping, and it could reduce the risk of falling even! The Kirigami technique used here has been gaining a lot of popularity recently. It was even used to create a bandage that can artfully stick onto the tricky and deformable areas of your body. Origami has a lot more uses than we know, it seems!

The Bookniture Origami Furniture by MoMA is really as creative as a product can get! It’s a piece of furniture that folds into a book when not in use! When folded, Bookniture is basically a book, one that you can easily slide onto your bookshelf or your desk. When opened, it forms an accordion-style furniture design that can be used as a table, seat, or even a storage shelf. Despite the fact that it can be folded in origami-style, the design is quite durable and able to hold quite a bit of weight. So you can sit on it with ease, without fearing that it’ll break apart and you may fall!

Constructed like LEGO, these modular shoes are made entirely from compostable materials!





You either already own a lot of shoes or you regularly buy a lot of new pairs of shoes. I fall in the latter category. I probably hold onto my shoes longer than recommended, maybe purchasing a new casual pair of shoes to wear every day, every year and a half. In the United States alone, around 300 million pairs of shoes are thrown away each year and end up in landfills where they take up to 40 years to decompose. That means by the time I turn 64, my pair of Adidas sneakers will finally be broken down. Noticing the environmental impact that shoe waste has on the earth, Laura Muth created ‘Shoes with an Expiration Date,’ a prototype of modular sneakers made entirely from compostable material.

Generally, fast-fashion uses carbon-intensive, nonrenewable resources like petrochemical textiles to construct items like shoes, making the industry one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in circulation today. While Muth’s ‘Shoes with an Expiration Date’ prototype is not market-ready and still in the mock-up phase, the designer aims to create a pair of shoes whose expiration date is far shorter than that of the shoes made from nonrenewable resources like plastic currently on the market. Ditching toxic glue for an isolable, modular structure, the individual parts of ‘Shoes with an Expiration Date’ are tied together with a compostable shoestring.

‘Shoes with an Expiration Date’ are handmade by Laura Muth from locally sourced, compostable materials. The sole of the shoe is molded with comfort and support in mind from latex extract derived from dandelion root, straw, sawdust, and natural dyes. The string and side support that holds the shoe together are made from cellulose felt and woven hemp. As the shoes are currently constructed, the bottom sole is soft and supportive but does not seem as long-lasting and heavy-duty as the plastic ones currently available on the market. As ‘Shoes with an Expiration Date’ is still in the prototype phase, rest assured that fine-tuning in shape, structure, and support is on the way.

Designer: Laura Muth

The shoestrings are made from woven hemp, while the frame is made from cellulose felt, and the shoe’s sole from dandelion root extract.

Coming in three different parts, the prototype is isolable.

Constructed using a building blocks method, the sole’s imprint leaves a layer for the cellulose felt support to rest atop.

During initial mock-up phases, Muth aimed to reduce the shoe to its essential elements.

Muth used an old sneaker and plastering to form the shape of the prototype’s sole.

With future development, Muth hopes to bridge sustainability with aesthetics and support.

Inspired by the building method of LEGOS, Muth designed isolable, modular shoes constructed from compostable materials.

Footwear designed using modern technology to give you the ultimate fashionably ergonomic design: Part 2

Shoes started off as functional designs meant to protect our feet, however with time they’ve now turned into style statements, a representation of our personality and our personal fashion sense. After all, don’t they say that you can tell a lot about a man by the state of his shoes? Personally, I love a good pair of sturdy and stylish sneakers, ones that can get me through the day without giving me any shoe bites, and also match my outfits! However, I do know that this isn’t the case with everybody. People have high demands and expectations when it comes to their footwear, hence designers are unleashing all of their creative juices, leaving no stones unturned in making unique, innovative, and ergonomic shoes! These footwear designs are as futuristic, inventive, and fashionable as they can get!

Former designer at Nike and Adidas, Hussain Almossawi, found himself asking a question. As a Tesla enthusiast, what if the company with its resources, creativity, and incredibly wealthy CEO, decided to go beyond sports-cars and design sports apparel instead? The conceptual Tesla Football Shoes combine Hussain’s love for football and for the Tesla brand into one positively radiant pair of performance sportswear. The shoes come in pristine white, with electroluminescent fabric woven into the sides and back, creating bright lines on the side, leading to a glowing, pulsating Tesla logo at the back. Moreover, the studs on the base of the shoes glow too, making them look exceptional in the dark but even more so when you’re dribbling away with the ball, creating one of the most beautiful light-streaks as you run!

Burfeind designed Sneature which is a sustainable sneaker alternative for the eco-conscious sneakerheads. The shoe is crafted from many waste materials. The yarn made of dog hair (Chiengora) which is a biological waste being upcycled – this is innovation. Sneature is biodegradable as well! The design does take into account the functional requirements of a trainer and individual customization by the user. The process uses a 3D knitting technology that allows for customization and on-demand production while using the lowest possible energy consumption method. The membrane is a protein-based 3D knit made from dog hair. It transports the functional properties of flexibility, stiffness, and air circulation with a very second-skin feel, similar to the sock sneaker style we’ve been seeing. These materials have natural properties that provide water absorption and release and anti-static properties.

Say hello to probably the most bizarre shoe collab in history. This pair of Nike Air-Jordans X Crocs collaborative clogs surely will make you feel a bunch of things, including, hopefully, a second reckoning. While the idea of footwear co-created by Nike, Jordan, and Crocs may sound absurd at first, these clogs honestly don’t look all that bad. I mean hey, I’d wear them… probably. The shoes come in the distinctive single-piece design that’s archetypal to the Crocs brand, with a silhouette that seems familiar too. Its details, however, borrow influences directly from the Air Jordan 1, with a perforated toebox and that iconic swoosh that wraps around the back of your foot, becoming the heel-strap.

Nike and footwear design technology go hand-in-hand, they’ve proven it in the past and now there’s yet another example of their prowess. These are the Go FlyEase hand-free shoes that bring the convenience of wearing and taking off your pair without even bending over or touching them ever. People who already do this with a pair of shoes with laces (when they are too tired or lazy) to take them off the conventional style (by untying the laces) will have their eyes set on the Nike Go FlyEase. The motion of using one foot to pull down on the heel of the other and vice versa when you have the crocs or loose sneakers is what most of us do. But doing the same to a pair of shoes can deform them over time – so Nike came up with a solution that lets you do kickstand heel motion to open them up in a jiffy without any damage to the shoe material. The invention’s core is a bi-stable hinge (the red element at the base of the shoe) and the midsole tensioner (that belt that wraps around) that gives the pair structural strength to be used as athletic footwear.

This is the Link by Padwa Design, Olga Kravchenko & Yehuda Azoulay, a shoe that has no shoelaces, straps, or even an upper cover. It’s literally a sole that ‘snaps to your feet’! Link presents a very unique approach to footwear. Just step into the soles and they automatically hug your feet, securing themselves in place. Without any upper cladding, the Link feels quite like walking barefoot. They allow your feet to remain ventilated, and providing all the freedom of movement and security you’d get from a pair of sneakers, but with the airy feel of flip-flops. Designed like a massive bumper-case for your feet, the Link is made with an EVA insole that provides comfort and grip, and a hard TPU outsole that comes with a fragmented design, allowing it to bend and flex with your feet. Together, the two materials make up Link’s construction, giving it flexibility, openness, friction/grip, and even a protective bumper around your feet, preventing your toes from accidental stubs and bumps.

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Carota Design’s Nike self-lacing sneaker concepts literally look like they’re from the future. With hard-shell components and gloss/matte finish contrasts, they don’t look or feel like traditional shoes at all, aside from the familiar silhouette, which definitely is a good thing. Designed to highlight the futuristic aspect of shoes that secure themselves, the conceptual sneakers come with a red lace that stands well against the black sneakers. The laces travel from the outsole to the front, and then to the heel, where they connect to a motor that’s triggered by a button. Tap against the button and the motor tightens the laces up, securing the shoe in place. Tap a second time and the laces loosen, allowing you to slip your shoe out! A textbook ‘shut up and take my money’ product!

The Plant Shoe by Mike Belgue (Native Shoes) doesn’t use new materials, but rather introduces old materials into a new, one-of-a-kind product. Each part of the shoe is plant-based, using materials like jute, pineapple husk, kenaf, linen, treated with natural oils like olive oil for suppleness and comfort. Tricky bits of the shoe’s design involved finding a workaround for the sole, which Native managed to solve by partnering with France-based Reltex to create a sole that comprises a eucalyptus-pulp insole, kenaf (hemp) and corn cushioning, and a sap-based tread that gives the shoes its grip. Binding all the shoe’s parts together formed the next challenge, as most shoe companies rely on toxic, non-biodegradable petrochemical-based glues to hold the sneaker’s parts together. Native’s solution involved stitching all the parts together using entirely plant-based threads that are strong enough for sneaker construction.

Teaming up with the renowned Japanese Architect Kengo Kuma, ASICS has unveiled the latest edition of the Metaride, an all-white running shoe with a pattern inspired by Japanese Yatara bamboo-weaving, on the shoe’s body. The fabric strips wrap themselves in a seemingly chaotic way, but in fact, are strategically placed to hold the foot steady by binding with the shoe’s innovative Flytefoam base that uses cellulose nanofiber, a strong and lightweight wood-pulp derived material currently being researched and explored in Japan. The shoe is described as ‘moving architecture’ by Kuma, who relied on the age-old technique of Yatara to provide aesthetic dynamism as well as a comfortable fit.

The Walk Of Mind shoes are centered around a technology that allows users to get custom shoes made based on scans of their feet. Its slip-on design comes with a unique visual and tactile experience, appearing as well as feeling lightweight. The shoe’s light appearance can be attributed to the fact it looks quite like a feather or leaf wrapped around your foot, and the absence of the traditional thick sole found in shoes and sneakers makes it look/feel sleek and lightweight. The slip-on is a combination of multiple materials, including the leather wraparound and an SLS 3D printed nylon sole that fits into it. The sole, designed specifically for each foot, comes with a bespoke pebbled surface that applies pressure on specific areas of the foot to relieve pressure, provide support, and give you a comfortable walking experience without fatigue. What’s really unique about the Walk Of Mind footwear is the fact that its monosurface design and transitions seamlessly from sole to foot-cover.

This collection of netted shoes is called “Netina” and each one of them solves a certain purpose while being completely astray from each other when the looks are concerned. The aim of crafting these shoes is to develop a healthy social relationship among people, providing a sense of comfort in helping someone who’s a complete stranger. Goldberg said, “The human body contains various opportunities for carrying objects that can be useful for ourselves and to those around us. Our feet contain such benefits and also obtain the true characteristic of the movement.” In this collection are the white shoes that hold matchsticks in a spiked design for times when someone asks for a light. Then there are the red shoes that have a large opening to store tampons for your friend who’s having a menstrual cycle. The third pair of shoes in all blue color are for geeks who like to be surrounded by gadgets, as the pair sports USB ports for charging multiple gadgets via a power bank that is concealed in the sole of the shoes.

For more such fashionably ergonomic footwear designs, check out Part 1 of this post!

Nike’s first ever hands-free shoes and the design process + touching inspiration behind it!

Nike and footwear design technology go hand-in-hand, they’ve proven it in the past and now there’s yet another example of their prowess. These are the Go FlyEase hand-free shoes that bring the convenience of wearing and taking off your pair without even bending over or touching them ever. People who already do this with a pair of shoes with laces (when they are too tired or lazy) to take them off the conventional style (by untying the laces) will have their eyes set on the Nike Go FlyEase. The motion of using one foot to pull down on the heel of the other and vice versa when you have the crocs or loose sneakers is what most of us do. But doing the same to a pair of shoes can deform them over time – so Nike came up with a solution that lets you do kickstand heel motion to open them up in a jiffy without any damage to the shoe material.

The invention’s core is a bi-stable hinge (the red element at the base of the shoe) and the midsole tensioner (that belt that wraps aorund) that gives the pair structural strength to be used as athletic footwear. Most of all Nike Go FlyEase is the ideal solution for people with disabilities keeping accessibility in mind, and that’s what makes them worth the time spend in R&D by the Nike team led by designer Tobie Hatfield who’s known for developing ingenious shoes for disabled people (and who’s also the brother of iconic footwear designer Tinker Hatfield). It is as easy as using one foot to hold the kickstand heel of the other and stepping out with utmost ease. When in the opened-up position the shoe’s inner sole is at an angle of 30-degree, making it easy to slip in the foot. In the collapsed wearable position the outer layer encapsulates the foot snugly in position for dynamic activities like playing football or running. And it all began with a letter to Nike over 8 years ago from a teenager suffering from cerebral palsy. In his letter, the then 16-year-old Matthew Walzer asked Nike to consider an adaptive line of shoes for people with mobility issues. That led to Nike asking the question, “How do you get in and out of a shoe today without your hands?”

To be frank, I already want to try out the Nike Go FlyEase for the convenience and unique style they bring to the footwear industry. This makes even more sense when in times of COVID-19 hygiene is paramount and you are skeptical about touching anything that’s been exposed to the elements for a considerable time. The fact that the pair is ideal for all kinds of activities and casual wear too, makes them so irresistible. According to Nike, they are going to make these available for sale to select Nike members from February 15 in a limited number. If the idea clicks with most users Nike will make then commercially available in the latter half of 2021. Honestly, I could look at that clipping action forever!

Designer: Nike

The Question

“How do you get in and out of a shoe today without your hands?” You do that by taking one foot, putting it behind the heel of the other, and then yanking that foot out. Maybe what we should do is just design a shoe for that behavior.

The Prototype