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.
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.
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.
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).
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!
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!