The world’s oceans are in peril due to a combination of pollution, overfishing and climate change. Recently, the Alfred-Wegener-Institut, a German center for polar and marine research, sent out a strong warning about fundamental changes that are occurring in those ecosystems. But awareness is growing and the fight to preserve the oceans has found an ally in Adidas, which has teamed with conservation group Parley for the Oceans to create footwear made with trash harvested from the ocean.
Roller skating and inline skating are both well past their primes, but there's a new generation of skates that offers a simpler, more casual skating experience. In place of a full-sized roller boot wrapping your entire foot and ankle, the latest skates slide onto your regular shoes. Models from companies like Cardiff use a basic strap system, but the all-new On Wheelz skates take things strapless, using a step-in system quite like clipless bike pedals.
For women, buying the wrong shoes can be about more than just esthetics.
If they end up with shoes that don't fit properly, they can develop
foot disorders such as bunions, hammertoes or ingrown toenails. That's
where the European Union's DemoShopInstantShoe project comes in. Established a few years ago, the collaborative effort is now about to release a device that instantly adapts off-the-rack shoes to a custom fit.
Even if you're not diabetic, you've probably heard that they need to
watch out for problems with their feet. That's because they frequently
lack sensation down there, and therefore don't know when it's time to
shift their weight in order to relieve pressure on specific areas of
their feet. The result can be chronic pressure sores, which can in turn
ultimately lead to toe or foot amputations. While pressure-sensing shoe
inserts are one option, Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate
Research claims that its pressure-sensing stockings are a better way to
For children living in poverty, footwear is one of many problems. Almost as soon as a child has received shoes to wear, they're likely to have grown out of them and have to make do with them being too small. The Shoe That Grows changes this. It allows children to adjust its size as their feet grow.
When you think of Zaha Hadid, shoe design probably isn't the first thing that springs to mind (even if she does have prior experience
). However, the architect joined forces with Ben van Berkel of UN Studio
and three other top-tier designers to produce 3D-printed high heels for United Nude. The shoes are on display at this year's Salone del Mobile.
Exercising in the dark is something that many of us are forced to do by our perpetually hectic lifestyles. However, that does inevitably mean encountering extra dangers en route, such as uneven pavements and impatient drivers. The 270-degree Shoe Lights from Night Runner are designed to allow you to exercise more safely at night.
At this time of year, people living in northern regions all over the world are faced with the same problem: icy sidewalks. Boots with otherwise grippy soles still slip, and spikes don't do well on stretches where there is
no ice. Researchers from the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and the University of Toronto are developing what could be a better alternative, however – rubber soles with bits of glass embedded in them.
If you're a fitness fanatic looking to use technology to monitor your activity, then slapping on a wristband like a Fitbit
or a Jawbone
might seem the easiest option. But in the eyes of French shoe company Glagla, there are things our footwork can tell us about our fitness that other body movements cannot. At this week's CES, it has wheeled out a pair of connected sports shoes that it claims can track fitness metrics with unrivaled accuracy.
Digitsole is an interactive insole for your shoe, capable of performing three functions your run-of-the-mill insole would struggle with. It can warm your feet, track how many steps you take, and guesstimate how many calories you have burned. All functions are controlled via an accompanying smartphone app – available for iOS or Android, with Windows Phone on the way – connected via Bluetooth 4.0.