A graduate of the London University Central Saint Martins, Kiki Grammatopoulos, has crafted a running shoe that serves a unique purpose: spreading plants and seeds in cities.
In a radical endeavor to bridge the gap between fashion, sports, and nature in a city environment, the student designer has created a pair of enormous outsoles – inspired by bison hoofs – for her project titled “Rewild the Run.”
Designer: Kiki Grammatopoulos
Her innovative outsoles – used as a prototype on New Balance trail running shoes – not only aim to engage individuals with the cause of rewilding, but also prompts a broader reevaluation of our relationship with nature. This conceptual footwear features a dense covering of tiny hooks that mimic the phenomenon of epizoochory, where seeds attach to animals’ fur for transportation.
The idea aligns the outsole with the benefits of “keystone species” in rewilding ecosystems. Such species, including the bison, hold an outsized influence in maintaining the balance in the wild. By creating pathways through dense forests, they facilitate the movement of other species or contribute to the creation of a semi-open pasture, suppressing certain vegetation and providing space for various flora and fauna to thrive.
The chunky appearance and treads of the outsole are a nod to the bison’s hoofs and their role in promoting the movement of other species in city environments. Grammatopoulos’ rewilding footwear encapsulates bison’s remarkable role and serves as a reminder of the symbiotic relationship between keystone species and their environment.
This outsoles prototype is currently 3D printed using nylon polymer. It is densely covered in hooks that effectively interact with soil and plant matter. However, Grammatopoulos expects to 3D print or injection mold the final version using rubber.