With our hectic lives which pretty much involve us running around all day, the right footwear can make a world of difference. Shoes started off as functional designs meant to protect our feet, and yes we need to pick ones that do exactly that, BUT, they should also reflect our style statements and represent 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. From Balenciaga high-heel sneakers to “decaying” shoes that are made from organic materials – these footwear designs are as futuristic, inventive, and fashionable as they can get!
1. Balenciaga High-heel Sneakers
This Balenciaga high-heel footwear concept was designed by OJB Studio keeping potential future technologies in mind. “In this Balenciaga concept, [current] manufacturing boundaries and constraints were excluded, with freedom and imagination leading the way”, Ollie of OJB Studio told Yanko Design. “This process enables a fast and efficient way of experimental aesthetic ideation, providing some rather wild, yet desirable designs.” The brief for the specific concept was to create a Balenciaga high heel for the near future, inspired by elements of a sneaker. It’s purely a visual exercise that aims at determining what the future of fashion in the footwear industry will look like.
2. The Kajola Shoe Collection
The Kajola shoe collection is made to look like decaying footwear as the materials used are natural. Because of the way, it’s designed, it’s really more of a piece of artwork than functional footwear. They want to call it “living artifacts” made from various biomaterials like volcanic dust, clay, and even cacao powder and so as the years pass by, it will naturally curl into itself, just like leaves and other organic materials do when they decay. They are named after an area in Nigeria and a trip to local forests. The idea is to push what other things plants can be used to create.
3. UV-Zhu’s Nike Conceptual Series
UV-Zhu’s Nike conceptual series are basically inflatable structures paired up with daily objects resulting in kicks that you would probably never see at the Nike showroom. The ankle straps are made from white garters, silicone, and paper-based tapes. The outsoles have been power-packed with springs so that they can allow the wearer, to walk without actually putting any effort into walking! Sponges and myriad kinds of soft padding have been squeezed in between these layers, creating comfy cushioning for the wearer. Some of the shoes have also been equipped with a layer of candy, and eccentric bristles as the outsole.
4. The Heaven’s Door
The Heaven’s Door has a unique design style that combines the close-toe design of a shoe with the open-ish ankle aesthetic of a slip-on sandal. The shoes have a leather body, punctuated by an elastic strap that runs along the side, connecting the rear flap to the main shoe. A rubber outsole hints at comfortable outdoor use in an urban environment while hiding the springs away in a recessed channel running along the length of the shoe. Although remarkable in their automatic opening/closing abilities, the shoes don’t try to look futuristic – because they are not.
5. AC1 Boot
Meet the AC1 boot by Brooklyn-based mischief-makers MSCHF created to explore the lighter side of hopping around in walking boots meant for rehabilitation from a foot injury. As good as the sneaker design seems for the Gen-Z, the inspiration story is equally interesting. In 2015 CEO Lukas Bentel saw a person waking in medical boots down Prince Street in New York. He thought it to be the “most interestingly designed object,” especially the function-over-fashion character. According to him pondering over objects that aren’t intended to be aesthetic and given the least attention when it comes to design, can end up “looking really interesting and out there.”
6. Averted Vision
Defined by its cushioned design and minimalist profile, Averted Vision is practical and trendy. The cushioned soles take up around half of the shoe’s side profiles, providing ample bounce for playing without gravity. Conceptualized without shoelaces, Averted Vision could benefit from textile technology to form-fit around the wearer’s feet for a snug, comfy fit. The silhouette of the shoe seems to be inspired by designs of today, like Yeezy Foam Runners and Boosts. These days, it sometimes feels like we’re a stone’s throw away from life on Mars, so it’s not surprising that designers who tapped into the future are influenced by the trends of today.
7. The Heinekicks
What are the Heinekicks? Quite simply put, they’re limited edition sneakers FILLED with beer. There are only 32 pairs available in the world, and yes, you heard it right, they actually contain soles filled with the new Heineken Silver. Heineken promises these liquid-filled kicks “will have you Walking on Beer”. The Shoe Surgeon maintained the brand’s iconic red, green, and silver colors in the shoes as well. He power-packed the sneakers with a sleek green lenticular upper with silver and red accents. A removable metal bottle opener has been integrated into the tongue of the shoes. This could come in pretty handy when it’s time to pop open a cold one!
8. adidas x Victorinox EQT 93 sneaker
This is the Adidas x Victorinox EQT 93 sneaker by the German activewear brand for people who have a very active lifestyle. When needed the most, the sneaker has the Swiss brand’s EDC snug in place for any fixing, cutting, or other tasks. The shoe is based on the EQT 93 sneaker and modified for this exclusive offering. According to Veronika Elsener, Chief of Marketing at Victorinox – “We are thrilled with the outcome of the products which bring unique design and exciting details.”
The brief was to create a pair of shoes that can be used by the “urban nomad” which is basically people like me. The designer was able to come up with a concept for a Vans-like pair of shoes called Sim-Plis-Tech, taking inspiration from a mixture of space, alien life, corals, and skate parks. We get something that looks like what an astronaut would wear while walking around Mars and also something we city folk can wear around while traipsing in the urban jungle.
10. The 38%_2101 Running Shoes
Once you’ve set foot on Mars, it may be nice to wear something cool and durable like the 38%_2101 Running Shoes for MARS. The pair is based on the Y-3 running shoes and looks very futuristic. The designer decided to go for the Y-3 because the brand has a futuristic vision. The 38%_2101 Running Shoes for Mars appear to be out of this world, but the pair is also something we can still wear on Earth. The designer’s process included several other inspirations like aerospace equipment and minimal color units and a few items with sharp shapes.