Mojito shoe by Julian Hakes


London architect Julian Hakes has designed a pair of shoes with no foot plate. Update 17/09/2010: see the updated shoe design here. Update: this project is included in Dezeen Book of Ideas, which is on sale now for £12. Update: watch an interview with Hakes on Dezeen Screen.

Called Mojito, the design consists of a single piece that wraps around the wearer's foot, forming support for the heel and ball. Update: see the fully developed shoe in our September 2010 story.

The foot naturally forms a bridge between the two.

The product is made of carbon fibre, laminated with rubber on the side that touches the floor and leather on the side next to the skin.

Here's some text from the designer:


One late summer night in the studio I was thinking about the design of shoes in general.

I wondered why there was the need for a foot plate in shoes such as high heels.

When I look at a foot print on sand it is very clear to see that the main force goes to the heel and ball.

With a high heel providing the heel is supported, even by standing on a wooden block the foot naturally 'spans' the gap naturally, with bones and tendons.

The foot has its own inbuilt strength and support so why duplicate this. You would not have a jumper with rigid arms between elbow and wrist.

So this raised the question, if the design of a shoe was an evolution of the early sandal and how can new materials and design techniques provide new solution?

So I set to exploring this question in a similar way to how I would design a bridge, examining the forces and looking at the most simple, elegant yet poetic expression of the forces at play within the materials used.

With this approach I then set about wrapping my foot in tracing paper, then binding it up in masking tape and then drawings various geometries onto and over the form of my foot.

The next stage was rather dangerous as I had to cut the shape off my foot with a scalpel and not damage the pattern or my foot.

The design this produced is a single wrapped geometry which starts under the ball of the foot and then over the bridge, then sweeping down below the heel before then twisting back on itself to provide the support for the heel and ankle.

This form felt light and airy on the foot. So we called it the 'Mojito' as it was rather like a twist of lime skin.

The material choice is simple: The shoe is a laminate with Carbon fibre for the core which gives the shoe its spring and strength, leather on the foot side and rubber on the walking wearing side. 3 materials, each doing a specific job.

We are now in talks with specalist shoe fabricators in for the inital prototypes, a firm in Italy would be able to make the inner carbon fibre core and then I would love to get some fabulous furniture makers in High Wycombe to 'skin' the shoe in leather as their stitching detailing is second to none.

Posted on Wednesday September 23rd 2009 at 12:03 am by Sarah Housley. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • barbara mayfield

    I am afraid to say that this shoe would not hold onto the foot. The foot would simply twist out of the shoe. If you want a working interesting sculptural shoe try

  • Thanks for all your comments and feedback guys.

    The design works just fine and we are well underway with testing and tooling. We have lots of prototypes in the studio in London and we are in detailed talks with a number of larger scale fabricators to prepare for formal launch.

    The models and people on the team who have tried the mojito shoe say its like walking on air as they are so cool and light on the foot, only supporting the parts needed.

    Keep your eye out for the Tyra Banks show in early 2010 as she will be featuring the Julian Hakes Mojito on her show – also Forbes have picked up on the story of the mojito, in particular about the links between architecture / engineering and fashion design – this is expected in Feb.

    Updates and news will be initially fed through http://www.twitter/julianhakes

    best regards for 2010 to Dezeen readers and the team at Dezeen


  • Jason

    Hmmm.. Just a thought.. it could be made into an elegant sculptural chair as well..

  • Jeanne Voguel

    I also second what’s been said
    would love to SEE IT ON A FOOT, since it’s a shoe.
    Design is neat, but please post photos ON A FOOT.

  • nidhi

    its amazing……
    loved it…..
    i would like to try them out……

  • vonda

    Where can I buy these, I love them.

  • Rach

    I can only imagine very dirty feet – lovely to look at in theory but practical? I don’t think so. Our feet get mucky wearing flip flops and they cover the whole sole

  • Rach – thanks for the post.

    We found that with a ‘normal’ sandal the dirt gets trapped under the foot on the shoe / foot plate and then as the foot gets warm it sticks to both the shoe and foot.

    Also have you noticed how dirt does not stick to your ankle as there is nothing to trap the dirt. When you think about it the heel is not actually much further from the floor and yet is stays cleaner.

    In our testing on the Hakes shoes the foot is kept cool and fresh as it is practically suspended in the air. There is also less surface to trap the dirt under the foot – especially on the arch area.

    News update: The Hakes Mojito prototypes flew out from Heathrow last week and are now with a major international manufacturer / distributor, update will follow soon.


  • HCB

    If you have tested them why are there still no images of an actual foot in the shoes to be seen here?

  • Jo

    Where can I buy some???!! They look fab!

  • Like a moebis strip shoe…cool!

  • leah

    where can I buy it?
    so cool!

  • some one has put their foot in it!

    with special thanks to SrookS for his stopmotion annimation / intepretation

  • The_Architext

    Really nice ! Extremely beautiful form, fluid and feminine… even if the form is apparently complicated it’s actually very simple as it is to melt itself with the foot… ! Good job !

  • surikun

    I like the design but what about being actual practical?

  • jessi

    when was fashion practical ? these are great!

  • Molly

    Where does the foot go? I don't get it.

  • Maxine

    I would like to buy a pair, how much are they?

  • madsrocks

    These. Shoes. Are. Awesome.

  • Teri

    Anyone seen an ACTUAL picture of someone wearing them? I want to see them on.

  • Dylan Ford

    This is bull s***.