Innovation Fridays: Transforming High Heels with just a Click

When it comes to high heels, there’s universal unanimity that they’re appallingly uncomfortable. No wonder they stopped being a men’s fashion staple in the 1740s. Because it’s simply ludicrous to believe women would give up heels entirely, we’re pleased to see that there are designers out there working on making them less excruciating on the feet. So far in the Sole Series, we’ve covered Ukies who’s solution was their nanoGel® technology, YaCHAIKA – who literally put a spring into each step, and Antonia Saint NY’s SoftSurround System. Today’s post will look at two labels that worked with adjustable height to provide stylish comfort:

Mime et moi

This retailer from Germany has designed a range of shoes that comes with seven different detachable heels. Thanks to their patented lever and footsole technology, height adjustment function is a possibility. The interchangeable heels, which should fit comfortably into an average sized handbag, come in a variety of sizes, shapes, colours and heights. You could switch up your heels throughout the day to suit your mood and the occasion.

For purposes of precision and attention to detail, these shoes are produced in Spain; a region known for its master trade standards in traditional shoemaking. It’s this focused craftsmanship that is required to execute the special demands on leather, strips and cuts for perfect fit and comfort. The modern technology, in form of the click system, is incorporated to give the shoes the best of both worlds.

[Image: Courtesy of Mime et moi]

The key to height adjustment lies in their Flexheel insole that allows the change in height without limiting or striking it. While the models available now are mostly in sandal or open-toe goat-leather variants, they plan to release an autumn collection that will feature closed-shoe options.

[Image: Courtesy of Mime et moi]

The shoes do come with a manual that you would be required to read. Thankfully, once you’ve gotten the instruction down, you won’t have to look at it again. Lifting the latch releases the heel, allowing the wearer to slip the next interchangeable piece in. To fully close the heel on will require your body weight to securely snap is on.

 

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This option would eliminate the need to carry an extra or multiple pairs. Nevertheless, you’d still have to remember to carry around the heel you wish to swap to later on. If you want to go completely luggage free with the transforming-heel experience, take a look at the next adjustable height heels from Singapore.

 

GENA

This two-in-one design wants to help the wearer transition heights in seconds. With a touch of a button on the outsole, the shoes can morph from stilettos to kitten heels and vice versa. To pull the heel down, press the button to release the catch. Once the heel pops out, step on it to lock it into an upright position. To reverse the process, simply push the heel upwards to tuck under the outsole. This eliminates the need to carry any additional accessories for your shoes. Former accountant, Cherre Hermogena Eng, has taken five years and has allegedly spent five figures develop this line.

[Image: Courtesy of GENA]

She first had the idea to create comfortable heels when she was 15years old. Cherre  noticed that ladies would have to take of their shoes and walk around barefoot when the heels became too unbearable to keep on. When she started wearing heels two years later, she got the comprehensive understanding of how brutal heels can be. But it wasn’t until 2014 that she began sourcing for material to make the shoes. Part of the delay was caused by the difficulty they faced sourcing the right material for the heel. They actually had to source from factories and suppliers based in different countries.

[Image: Courtesy of GENA]

The label also tested leather to suss out the softest variant to avoid blisters. They opted to go with pure Napa lambskin leather, which is considered the softest in the world. It also has a water vapour permeable ability, which makes it perfect for heat exchange. Coupled with the additional ergonomic foam throughout the heels, the shoes are flexible enough that you don’t have to break them in and reduces the chances of developing blisters. While the leather makes up the heels’ upper and insoles, the heel is made from steel. The label settled on the heel heights of 2cm and 9cm thanks to an online poll that surveyed 10,000 women to figure out heights they found practical and comfortable to walk in. The 2cm decision was further supported through height research that suggests an arch is more preferable than being completely flat-footed. Once the prototypes were complete, they went on to test them for four months to confirm their durability.

[Image: Courtesy of GENA]

GENA is a two-person operation that sees Cherre in charge of all operations while Darren, her boyfriend, takes care of all the documentation. She may have a finance career background but the degree in Psychology and diploma in Fashion Technology (Footwear Design & Product Development) have come in handy concerning GENA. Cherre essentially assembles the shoes manually in her home. It takes at least two and a half hours of hammering, nailing, gluing and wrapping to assemble a single pair of shoes. There are only three designs on offer so far; suede pointed toe pump, sandals and leather pumps.

 

[Image: Courtesy of GENA]

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We’ve all been in a position where you’re dreading the impending commute home because the pain is simply unbearable. Or you’re evening plans are hampered because you’ve got your boring work flats on. Plus, carrying around that many shoes in your handbag or in the back of your car is just not cutting it anymore. Who really wants the extra weight anyway? Adjustable height is already a major change in the market when it comes to alleviating heel-oriented suffering. Perhaps the future prototypes will be able to morph through apps on a smartphone or become lower once it sense your discomfort. Who knows? We’re just happy that designers are trying to solve the heel dilemma.

 

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