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The Future Shoe

Started from 1990s, most of the people think shoes
are a part of fashion and they were talked about everywhere- in the journals,
magazines and also on the TV programs (Shawcross, 2014). Moreover, they are
also excited to know about the future shoe designs. To discuss about that, many
people start thinking about the technical developments and using technological
devices on shoes. However, it needs to fulfil more subtitles which are
recreating or inspiration from old shoes designs with different materials and
the other one is changing trends in footwear designs. That is why, I decided to
discuss about these three subtitles with my researches, examples and my point
of views.


Using Technological Devices on Shoe

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New technologies will influence on most of the
future footwear because it has several benefits for people in different ways.

Nowadays, footwear designers and some of the technicians start working together
to create shoes by using technological devices. Electricity Generating
Footwear, GPS shoe and Nike Mag (2015) are the example of using technological
devices on shoes.



Fig 1. Electricity Generating Footwear by Angelo in 2014


to ASCSA (2017), electricity generating footwear was introduced by Angelo in
2014. It is used Piezoelectric Generator system to produce electricity (20
W). According to Rouse (2016), Piezoelectricity is known as piezoelectric
effect. It is a small generator which produces electricity by stressing or
vibrating. Moreover it does not create any noise as dynamos (ASCAS, 2017). The
shoe does not affect anything on the wearer because piezoelectricity sandwiched
between insole and outsole of the shoe. However many
people do not like that shoe because of the design. To compare with clothes’
designs, this shoe is totally not attractive shoe. From my point of view, both
the design and the colour of the shoe are not


Fig 2.

GPS shoe by Dominic Wilcox in 2012


to Persson (2015), wearer had to upload the location data
via USB to the shoe at the red flag which is at the back of the GPS shoe. On
and off button of GPS is on the heel and one side of the shoe show the distance
between the wearer and the destination (Hong & Baker, 2013). 
Furthermore, the wearer can share the location with friends and family. There
are three vibrotactile ticklers on the toe and it vibrates to
the toe when the user goes to wrong direction (Persson, 2015). The
design of the GPS is simple formal classic shoe. LED light at the front of the
shoe is more interesting than the design and colour of the shoe
for me. However, started from 2015, many people are more interested in GPS
shoelaces than GPS shoe because of the attractive various colours, waterproof and cheaper than GPS shoe. GPS
shoelaces work on different shoes is the main reason to get attention from
people because wearers do not need to think about the design of the shoe
(Martinez, 2015).


Fig 3.

Nike Air Mag by Tinker Hatfield in 2015


Nike Air
Mag is the most popular and well-known shoe than other shelf-lacing Nike shoes.

According to Edgar (2014), Nike Air Mag is limited edition and they made only
1500 pairs. Shoe designer Tinker Hatfield is the leader of the project to make
this shoe since 2011. Using self-lacing technology on this shoe and it calls
“Adaptive Fit”. The pressure on the insole of the shoe is the on and off button
for the shoe and it is warning to lacing automatically and the light of the
shoe needs to open by the wearer by tapping the bottom edge of the shoe (Nike
News, 2014). I think that the design of the sneaker is neither simple nor
complicated. However, it is attractive for me because of the light of the shoe
from the back, heel and the top of the lace.


After researching that it makes me to think that,
that kinds of shoes would temptation mainly to young people because they are
more familiar with technological devices than elder people. However, the price
of the shoes and limited edition would make them to be difficult to get the


Changing Trends in Footwear Designs


Secondly, I will discuss about the changing trends
in footwear designs. In fashion, everything is changing in everyday. Started
from 2014, footwear designs have changed striking into new trend because many
different artists show their creations on different shoes (Virtual Shoe Museum,
2016). For example, Julian Hakes’s Mojito Shoe, Ben
Van Berkel’s UNX, Fernando Romero’s Ammonite,
Michael Young’s Young Shoe, etc. Furthermore, according from, Rebecca (2014),
from 1870 to 1930, American footwear design started influencing on Europe and
footwear designers started mixing American and Europe design to made new trend.



Fig 4.

Mojito shoe by Julian Hakes in 2015


Hakes, architect introduces his shoe design by using new materials, using
leather for lining, rubber for outside and laminated carbon fiber core for
spring and strength of the shoe (Sarah Housley, 2009). Used
only a few materials and all of them have different ability on shoe. His design
is totally new design for me and I have never seen that design before he
created. According to SLEM (2014), Julian used new design techniques to create
his Mojito shoe. He taped his foot to create design by
using the shape of organic lines and drew on the tracing. When people see
that Mojito shoe, they think that shoe is not comfortable
for wearer. Some people think that Mojito shoe looks
not comfortable for wearers. However it is comfortable, airy and the weight is
light. Moreover, it is also one of the elegant shoes and the wearer can walk or
stand painlessly (JULESB, 2017).


Fig 5.

UNX2 by Ben Van Berkel in 2015


Van Berkel is one of the architects who created shoes.

Some people argue that his shoe, UNX2 is almost the same as Alexander Macqueen’s Armadillo boot. However, when I researched
about that shoe, I have founded the differences between those two shoes. There
are only two similarity between those two shoes; the toe type and both shoes
are comfortable. However, there are some differences in the diagram below.




Ben Van Berkel’s UNX2

Alexander Macqueen’s
Armadillo boot


rubber, hard Nylon and 3D printing

Wood, 4 zips (2 zips for lining and 2 zips for upper), Iridescent paillettes



cm heel


3D printing outsole

Toe Spring

Upper Design

between front and back parts

zip to attach between front and back part

Fig 6. Sam (2017), Diagram showing difference between Alexander
Macqueen’s Armadillo boot and UNX2.




Old footwear trends which popular again


In these days, I find many old fashions and
footwear trends which popular again. 1990s platforms are also temptation again
in these days (Shawcross, 2014). According to Stylish Lady (2017), some of the
fashion trends from 18th and 19th centuries are
popular again in these days. However, there are some differences such
as colours, fabrics, textiles, etc. Bellow will discuss about long quarter
boot, late 1860’s lady shoes and Ugg boots because those are
fashionable again in these days.




Fig 7. Long
Quarter Boot in 1960’s


to Davis (2017), 1960s long leather or synthesis boots were influences on many
people and it was the most popular footwear design on that days. In 20th century, that kind of long quarter boots
(above ankle boot styles) with calf hells are popular again between young
people. However, the materials are difference in these days. For example,
better quality of boot and synthetics are much better than old boots.

Personally I think that, calf hell is the not beautiful hell because the shape
is not interesting as other heels such as ankle strap heel, wedge heel, cone
heel, etc.


8. (Left) late 1860’s Women Button Shoe

Fig 9. (Right) Button-up Balmoral Boot by
Saint Crispin in 2017


According to Mitchell and Ward (2008), at the end
of 1860s ladies button shoe designs are influenced again on men formal classic
shoe and boot designs in 2000’s. The shape of the shoe and the patterns of the
buttons are different between those shoes. Furthermore, nowadays, the qualities
of leathers of the shoes are much better, it is softer, flexible and also
the colours of the shoes are more attractive (Schneider, 2016).

Button shoes designs are the most beautiful design for me. And then, that looks
really attractive than other classic shoe designs, for example, Oxford shoe,
Monk strap shoe, Derby shoe, etc.



Fig 10. History of Ugg
Boot by Diana Nguyen (2016)


The design of the Ugg boot is not
interesting for many people. However, there still have customers who like to
wear Ugg boot. Looking through the history of the Ugg Boot,
it introduced in 1978 and many people liked to wear that before 2011. Since 2014, Ugg boots
are started popular again on people’s fashion. The boot design does not change
but the materials and quality are better than the old Ugg boot. The
main reasons of wearing Ugg boots are it is comfortable and flexible
boot. Using fur for the lining of some of Ugg boot is also one of the
differences but the designer does not use the fur on all of the boots.


To conclude, discussing the improvement of
technology and using technological devices on shoes, new materials, recreating
and inspire from the past antique designs make more interesting discussion
about future shoe. According from research, I have found that using
technological devices on shoes will be popular between teenagers. As a student
who study footwear design, I think that recreating and inspiriting from old and
antiques shoe designs with different materials are the most populist between
people because people are already familiar with the old designs and it is easy
to influence again on them as new footwear trends.













































(2017) Electricity Generating Footwear – Generate Electricity
by Walking (Concept) Online Instructables. Available from: Accessed 26/11/2017.

S. (2017) 10 Ways the 1960s Invented Today’s Fashion Trends. Online  VINTAGE FASHION. Available
form: Accessed 25/11/2017.

A. (2016). Nike’s self-lacing Mags are hot won’t catch fire. Engadget UK. Online. Available from: Accessed 3/12/2017.

J and BAKER, M. (2013). From GPS Shoes to Instrumented Cities: Food for
Thought. Notes from the Community.  Online 12(2), pp. 86-88. Available
from: Accessed

S. (2013) Back by Popular Demand; Designers are reissuing iconic
furniture pieces to suit modern tastes. Wall Street Journal. Online, pp. 1-3. Available from: Accessed


(2017) Julian Hakes Mojito Metallic
Shoes. Online Julesb. Available from: Accessed 3/12/2017.

C. (2015) Worlds 1st GPS Shoelace- Replaces GPS Shoes.

Online INDIEGOGO. Available
from: Accessed 9/12/2017.

L. and WARD, L. (2008) Stepping out: three centuries of shoes.

Sydney: Powerhouse.

NEWS. (2015) The 2015 Nike Mag. Online NIKE NEWS.  Available
from: Accessed 26/11/2017.

D. (2016) Tracking: The Rise and Fall of the Ugg Boot in Recent Fashion History.

Online ENEWS. Available from: Accessed 26/11/2017.

M. (2016) Piezoelectricity. Online WhatIs. Available from: Accessed 03/12/2017.

HOUSLEY. (2009) Mojito shoe
by Julian Hakes. Online.

Sarah Housley. Available
from: Accessed

JANA. (2015) “Open Futures,” in Persson,
Helen ed. Shoes: pleasure & pain, pp. 100-109. London:
Victoria and Albert Museum.

S, R. (2016) THE 1880’S. Online.

GENTLEMAN’S GAZETTE. Available from: Accessed 25/11/2017.

R. (2014) Shoes: an Illustrated History. London: Bloomsbuty, 2014.


(2014) SLEM Magazine 1 (August 2014) PDF Available to
download from: Accessed 25/11/2017.

LADY. (2017) Old fashion vs. new fashion. Online. Available from: Accessed 25/11/2017.

B. (2014) The Extraordinary Future of Shoes. Online CITYLAB. Available from: Accessed 25/11/2017.


(2015) Re-Inventing Shoes WWW Available from:  Accessed


(2015) Clarie Wilcox on the Armadillo Boot Video.

Available online at: Accessed


(2017) Armadillo Boot Online
The Museum of Savage Beauty. Available from: Accessed 26/11/2017.




















Image Reference List


1. ASCSA, (2014) Electricity Generating Footwear. Online image  Available
from:  Accessed

2. CHALCRAFT, E. (2012) GPS shoe. Image In: SCHOLZE, JANA. (2015) “Open
Futures,” in Persson, Helen
ed. Shoes: pleasure & pain. London: Victoria and Albert
Museum, p.103.

3. TINKER HATFIELD (2015) Nike Air Mag. Online image Available from: Accessed 26/11/2017.

4. HSKES, J. (2014) Mojito Shoe.

Online image Available
from: Accessed 25/11/2017.

6. SAM (2017), Diagram showing difference between Alexander Macqueen’s Armadillo boot and UNX2.

7. DAVIS, S. (2015) Long Quarter Boot. Online Image Available from: Accessed 25/11/2017.

8. (Left) MITCHELL, L. & WARD, L. (1860s) Button shoe for ladies.

Image In: MITCHELL, L. and WARD, L. (2008) Stepping out: three
centuries of shoes. Sydney: Powerhouse, p.49.

9. (Right) LEATHER FOOT EMPORIUM. (2017) Button-up Balmoral Boot. Online image Available from: Accessed

10. NGUYEN, D. (2016), Ugg Boot. Online image Available from: Accessed 26/11/2017.



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