An important trend we are seeing in innovation across several mediums and technologies is the mass on-demand customization of production on an individual level. Products can be made at the moment they are being purchased and tailored specifically to the requirements or measurements of a person.
Now, ShopInstantShoe is applying this idea to shoes. Shoe sizes can be especially notorious for being slightly off considering how much feet shape differs from person to person. With any kind of clothing we are forced within a generalized size scale that only reduces the the variety of body shapes to a limited number of criteria. One of the dangers of forcing feet into such a broadly defined scale is that it can lead to deformations of the feet and even foot-related diseases.
Now, utilizing an intelligent leather/nithynol material, shoes can be made on demand and specifically shaped to the foot of the wearer. Even more fascinating, the material itself is reusable. Meaning, if the shoe is made, tried on and the wearer doesn’t like it, the material can be reheated back to its original state. To make the shoes, a person’s foot is scanned to collect its specific size and measurements. The shoe is then adjusted according to those specifications.
Bespoke, custom made products are going to continue to be one of the most important advances that we make as a society. Appealing to as many people as possible will no longer be equated with making a single product that the most amount of people will like. It will instead be about creating products that are as customizable on an individual level as possible.
ShopInstantShoe is a consortium of several European shoe companies and research groups which include Calzamedi, Incusa and the UK Materials Technology Institute Limited. They recently presented their results at Calzamedi’s facilities after two years of research.