Invisible shoehorn gives your back a break and blends into the background

We often take for granted how some of the most common tools are poorly designed until we have to deal with them, presuming we even have one around. Granted, not everyone might need a shoehorn to put on their footwear, but when you do, you might end up scrambling to look for one near your door. Worse, you might end up injuring your back because, while it’s designed to help slip your foot into your shoes, a shoehorn doesn’t take the rest of your body into account. Of course, that’s only true for your run-of-the-mill shoehorns that try to be cute and look like a small foot or something similar. A more thoughtful design would be willing to throw away those conventions and break stereotypes, like this rather striking shoehorn that doesn’t look like a shoehorn at all.

Designer: Kairi Eguchi for Takeda Design Project

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You definitely wouldn’t recognize this shoehorn if you came across it either near the door or near a shoe rack. Even if you look closely at it, it would simply appear as a half-silver, half-clear rod that stands like a decoration to accentuate your home. It does serve that purpose when it’s not in use, but this “disappearing” shoehorn is definitely one of the most well-designed household tools of its kind.

When you pull out the metal part of the rod from its stand, you get a smooth, polished shoehorn that stands 700mm (around 27in) tall, tapering from the cylindrical handle down to a thin curved tip. At this height, it’s trivial to slip the shoehorn between your foot and your shoe without having to bend down precariously. It would have been simple enough to make a long shoehorn and call it a day, but the ALIGN LINE shoehorn uses that ergonomic design to create something not only useful but also beautiful.

The actual shoehorn is literally only half of the whole product. The other half is a clear acrylic holder that mirrors the shoehorn in shape. The transparent material of the stand creates a distinctive contrast with the stainless steel shoehorn, making it appear as if it’s floating in mid-air. It also helps the design blend with its surroundings, matching with whatever theme or motif you might have going in your home. The dome base is also made from stainless steel and has a low center of gravity to provide stability to the structure. It sits well below the metal tip of the shoehorn, reinforcing that illusion of a piece of metal floating in your house.

The invisible shoehorn’s thoughtful design carries over to the meticulous attention paid to crafting this tool. The shoehorn is carefully finished to ensure a smooth surface that won’t snag and tear delicate socks or stockings when you use it. Small details like these may be almost invisible to the eye but have a big impact in making this steel and clear shoehorn not only an ergonomic tool but also a thing of beauty.

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