Do you remember the awesome self-lacing sneakers in the Back to the Future 2 movie? Marty McFly had travelled to the future and was impressed by the light-up, automatic footwear. What was once sci-fi has become a reality with a new wave of ‘adaptive performance’ footwear being designed by the biggest names in the shoe industry like Nike, unlike the brands that are new to the block like XV Kings menswear through EJ Menswear. Here we look at how technology is not only transforming how we live but what we wear:
We’d all like a pair of Marty McFly shoes, right? Sadly, we’re not quite ready for those yet but there is a company who claims to have solved the shoelace issue for us. The Power Lace system features a pressure plate in the heel of the shoe so that when you step down on it initially, the shoe locks the laces in place at a pre-set tightness. To unlock the laces, simply pull on the lever at the rear of the shoe. If this idea catches on, we need never tie another shoelace again!
Lechal Haptic Footwear
A strange name for a rather clever pair of shoes. How would you feel if your shoes could help you with directions? A researcher at Hewlett-Packard in India designed these smart shoes that feature a customised insole that can link up via Bluetooth with an app on your smartphone. Set a destination on your app and when you hit a required change of direction, vibrations in the shoes tell you which way to go. Perfect for those of us prone to staring at a phone whilst walking and invariably walking into something or tripping over!
Imagine a shoe that at the first sign of sweaty whiffs was able to instantly cool your foot, successfully pausing the sweat reaction and refreshing your foot in the process? Sportsmen and women would benefit most from this form of footwear and that’s why they were first worn by Team Europcar in the 2012 Tour de France. The smart insole is woven with xylitol which reacts with sweat and rapidly cools.