Thursday, 18 November 2010

retro shoes and future shoes

When you think about it, shoe design hasn't changed all that much in the last hundred or so years. They still have soles, heels, buckles, laces. Industrial processes and the materials used, however have changed a lot, some beyond recognition. A modern pair of budget shoes can be produced at a fraction of the cost of a 19th century pair.

Most work shoes of today would at least be recognisable to someone from yesteryear, but a pair of velcro fasten trainers would look odd to say the least if you stepped out of a time machine and into, for instance, the late nineteenth century.

What will shoes look like in the future? Nanotechnology will probably ensure that sports shoes will no longer get a bit smelly after a few months' use. Advances in molecular technology might also mean that in not too far off, there could be a tolerable leather substitute - maybe even a biodegradable one.

But the big one we're all waiting for, of course, is the footwear that will have some kind of off-the ground air cushion so that we can walk twice as fast with half the effort, maybe even stand still but keep moving like on one of those walkways at the airport. These shoes will also have built in GPS so that we never get lost, and an optional tracking device so that we can see what ground we've covered.

Antique shoes link here.

Google images for future shoes here. Lots of aerodynamics, ergonomics and flashing LEDs here.

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