Shock-Absorbing Heels Promise the Comfort of Tennis Shoes
Glamour without the sore feet courtesy of the spring-loaded YaCHAIKA heels
Yasuyuki Yamada’s YaCHAIKA shoes marry the fashion of high heels with the comfort previously associated with a pair of tennis shoes by applying new mechanics to the standard design.
The shoes, still under development and which nabbed a James Dyson Award, use a pair of curved springs beneath the heels which dip up to three inches when the wearer places weight on them. Rubber shock absorbers on the bottom combine with the springs to pad the impact of each step, and to allow women to assume a more natural posture while wearing the shoes.
They’re tall enough to maintain the formal, glamorous look of high heels while providing a soft landing as a woman walks.
Traditional heels force women to walk with heels elevated, a position designed to tense the legs and rear. Though considered appropriate for fashion events, the position leads to back pain, posture problems and joint issues from long hours spent wearing them. More comfortable options—those dubbed “sensible shoes” during the 1980s—are good for long wear but not nearly as sexy or appropriate for the boardroom.
If YaCHAIKA moves from its current prototype phase to a fully realized product, women may be able to enjoy the best of both worlds.
The general shape of the shoe is similar to many heels currently on the market, while the area that holds the feet is identical. Only the materials and the experience of wear have changed, making them a good fit for women who like to be active.
Yamada has shared this will remain a prototype as he continues to perfect the product. Right now, he’s focusing on reducing the weight of the shoes themselves for further comfort and will achieve this with additional spring. Yamada has not released a timeline for future development.
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