Jan 25, 2016 | By Tess

Do you find yourself having tired, weary feet after a long day of running errands or working? Do you find yourself sacrificing foot comfort for more stylish and trendy shoes? If you answered yes, you are certainly not alone, and you may be in luck, as shoe designers have been exploring the potentials of 3D printed shoes to maximize both style and comfort for your feet. Israeli shoe designer Neta Soreq, for instance, has designed and 3D printed two pairs of shoes, a platform and a high heel, that put a literal bounce in your step.

Energetic Pass II

The shoes, which form her collection The Energetic Pass, were created by Soreq in 2015 as she studied at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Israel. Both pairs of shoes, though featuring different types of heels, bear the same organic, striped style that was inspired by the sinewy texture of muscle fibres. Soreq explains, “I was inspired by the structure of the muscles and the natural movement of the foot in different positions.”

Notably, the shoes do not only look very impressive, they also serve a unique function and offer a whole new way of walking to the wearer. That is, the heels of both the platform (Energetic Pass I) and the high heeled shoe (Energetic Pass II) were designed in such a way that they spring each time the wearer takes a step, as the strands that make up the shoe’s heel contract and release every time weight and pressure are applied.

Energetic Pass I

“My shoe design came from studying hyperactive people, with a focus on different therapy treatments that direct the energy in the body,” explains Soreq. “I designed a spring heel which has a mechanism that acts as a shock absorber and gives the wearer a new walking experience.”

The shoes were designed using Solidworks 3D software, and were initially based off of a 3D scan of an anatomically accurate wooden shoe tree. From the scan, Soreq was able to design her shoes strand by strand, while keeping the shape of the foot in tact.

"I used the traditional technique of building shoes and combined it with the technological advantages of computer design. This kind of 'tech-couture' process opens up new opportunities of design,” says Soreq.

The body of the shoe was made out of nylon 12 using selective laser sintering technology, while the sole, to provide grip, was made from a light-sensitive photopolymer material. Each shoe weighs between 220 and 330 grams (to compare, the average women’s gym shoe weighs about 500 grams) and, while it might take some time to get used to having an extra spring in your step, they are reportedly quite comfortable to wear.

While the designs are unique and certainly impressive, Soreq is aware not everyone will suit her Energetic Pass collection so she is currently working on another collection which will feature the same comfort level but with a more ready-to-wear style, which we will be sure to report on.

This is not the first time we have seen what 3D printing technology can offer shoe designers in terms of maximizing both comfort and style, and we are sure it will not be the last.

To see how the shoes work, watch the video below:

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

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