Rectangle shoes by Maria Nina Vaclavek
reveal outlines of the wearer's feet


These rectangular shoes by student designer Maria Nina Vaclavek play on the contrast between geometric forms and the curving shape of the wearers feet (+ slideshow).

Rectangle shoes by Maria Nina Vaclavek

Maria Nina Vaclavek said that the process used to make her Rectangle shoes was based on the way early humans formed their primitive leather footwear.

Rectangle shoes by Maria Nina Vaclavek

"I chose the first shoe ever made by man in prehistoric times to brace against cold and chafing as an inspiration," Vaclavek told Dezeen. "I based my work more on the method of fabrication than the visual aspect of the shoe."

Rectangle shoes by Maria Nina Vaclavek

"The caveman hunted down an animal, skinned it and wrapped the leather – still raw and warm – around his foot where he tightened it with bast," she continued. "The leather adapts the shape of the user's foot. I found this technology very interesting and decided to work with it further."

Adapting this method, Vaclavek wrapped a piece of wet vegetable-tanned leather around a platform and a shoemaker's last. When it dried, the leather became rigid and formed the solid shape of the shoes.

Rectangle shoes by Maria Nina Vaclavek

The last was wider than the platform, so the outline of a foot was created as the leather curved over the shape, showing where the foot sits within the geometric outline.

"The intentional contrast is made by the contradiction of the geometric silhouette and the soft organic shape of human sole," said Vaclavek.

Rectangle shoes by Maria Nina Vaclavek

Openings at the toe and heel allow parts of the foot to peep out from the strict rectangular form. A section of the black sole also extends from the front of the shoe, contrasting with the tan-coloured leather.

"Rectangle shoes are as comfortable as any shoes of this height," Vaclavek stated. "Although they have an open heel, they don't function like a slipper because the exact shape of the shoe fixes to your foot."

Rectangle shoes by Maria Nina Vaclavek

Vaclavek designed the shoes while studying at the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, Czech Republic, and her designs received first prize at the Design Talent 2013 award announced last week.

  • Mr Walnut Grey

    I hate these – pretentious comes immediately to mind.

  • Lee

    Lady Gaga would definitely want a get a pair.

    • Monster

      There isn’t anybody else who could get away with wearing them!

  • Simon

    I love the concept!

  • Rae Claire

    Does she know where Jimmy Hoffa is?

  • lim lima

    Raffaello Scardigli did it first! Sorry!

    • Louis

      They’re embarrassingly similar.

  • LC

    They look absolutely fantastic by themselves, but not with the lady wearing them.

  • Liz

    Love them!