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.
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.
The tying of shoelaces may not be the most difficult thing that most of us do each day, but that nonetheless hasn't stopped people from inventing no-tie shoelace systems
. One of the latest, Shnap + Laces, has the user just snap the ends of their laces onto the tops of their shoes.
We've certainly seen a lot of running shoes with shock-absorbing cushions
in the soles, that are designed to absorb energy on the downstep and then release it on the upstep. The Enko shoe, however, takes that concept a step farther – it incorporates two actual coil-sprung shocks on each shoe, along with a hinged second sole.
The all-new Altra Halo shoe is a smart shoe for runners with an integrated sensor that measures aspects of your gait and sends it to your smartphone or iFit GPS Watch. Unlike other performance metrics that you analyze after your run, the Halo's data set helps you to make adjustments during your workout.
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.
Auto-lacing shoes are here, finally. And pretty well right on schedule. Thirty years after Back to the Future II
sold the world on the concept in a fictional 2015, a startup called Powerlace in St Hubert, Canada has created a shoe that's claimed will pave the way for a paradigm shift in the shoe industry. The company's system uses a pressure plate in the heel to tighten shoes and a level at the lower rear end to release them, with an adjustment puller near the tongue.
Falls are the leading cause of death by injury amongst seniors, and those falls are in turn typically caused by poor balance or an irregular gait. Taking things back yet another step, problems with balance and gait are often caused by diminished sensation in the feet. Now, however, a new study indicates that subtly-buzzing insoles may help seniors regain some of that lost sensation, and thus be less likely to fall down.