World Footwear

Innovation

Smart Shoes - When design and comfort isn't enough

May 9, 2017 / Innovation
Smart Shoes - When design and comfort isn't enough
Footwear companies have been partnering up with technological agencies to create innovative shoes with features and functions that go well beyond design
As footwear becomes more and more a commodity, companies look for new ways to distinguish their products. Lowering production costs, using distinctive materials and reinventing design have been the main strategies that companies in this sector explore to gain a competitive advantage. Still, outcomes don’t always represent the intended results.

As a consequence, companies are actively searching for new ideas that would give them an edge on the footwear market. Investing in technology and innovating product design seems to be working out for many companies, such as Nike and adidas.

There is already a record of innovative features that change the way consumers experience footwear:
Powerlace is currently developing the very first self-lacing shoes. These shoes only require the body weight to activate themselves.
Shift Sneaker is a shoe that allows its owner to control its design by actively changing colors. The shoe has a smart surface which was created using unusual materials and electronic components that let users change its apparel through a smartphone app. Colors can also change automatically according to weather, movement or location.
Using sensors to track users activity, detect fatigue, stress or even promote heating inside the shoe. Nike+ sensors, that are embedded into shoes, were the first example of a “technological shoe”.

Aesthetics will continue to be important, however, consumers are now paying much more attention to the other characteristics of a shoe, and that is opening space for a deeper integration of technology and for a wider personalization.