Silvia Fado designs impact absorbers for
more comfortable high-heeled shoes

| 4 comments
 

Footwear designer Silvia Fado has used hydraulic pistons and rubber balls in the heels of these shoes, aiming to improve the wearability of high heels (+ slideshow).

Silvia Fado impact absorber shoes

Silvia Fado added features including springs, rubber balls, pneumatic hydraulics and metal rings to shoes in her Kinetic Traces collection to help absorb impact and make them more comfortable to wear.

Silvia Fado impact absorber shoes

"The principal functions of footwear are often sacrificed in fashion," Fado told Dezeen. "This project brings sports footwear fundamentals to high-end fashion as sports footwear are based on function and wearability, both very important elements for design features that must interact with the body and be usable by the wearer."

Silvia Fado impact absorber shoes

She integrated the mechanical elements into the heels of the shoes to dampen the walker's steps.

Silvia Fado impact absorber shoes

"I have been analysing comfort elements in footwear, and specially I studied and developed impact absorption, shoe weight, traction (the relationship between shoe and surface) and upper durability," said Fado.

Silvia Fado impact absorber shoes

Fado worked with an architect to study the forces that interacted with the structure of shoe during walking. She also collaborated with a photographer to capture, break down and analyse the different stages of movement.

Silvia Fado impact absorber shoes

Following this research, she added moving elements into the heels to create better flexibility in a range of designs.

Silvia Fado impact absorber shoes

"To realise the absorption function, I introduced an element of internal movement into these structures," said Fado.

Silvia Fado impact absorber shoes

Different-shaped heels and mechanisms absorb weight and motion in different ways.

Silvia Fado impact absorber shoes

Stainless steel springs and hydraulics are used on their own or in combination with other materials like moulded transparent acrylic plastic.

Silvia Fado impact absorber shoes

Two pairs of shoes have sculptural milled wooden heels in two parts, connected by rubber balls. One has a ball at each end, while another integrates the element at the back with a metal hinge at the front.

Silvia Fado impact absorber shoes

The woods used included African hardwoods, Colombian verawood and English walnut. More complex sections of the platforms were 3D-printed in navy blue nylon.

Silvia Fado impact absorber shoes

The leather uppers with sections in various colours were created using traditional shoe-making techniques.

Silvia Fado impact absorber shoes

Although the shoes are wearable, they have been created to represent potential solutions rather than for day to day use.

Silvia Fado impact absorber shoes

"The final outcomes are a representation of introducing mechanical concepts to traditional footwear," Fado explained.

Silvia Fado impact absorber shoes


Rectangle shoes by Maria Nina Vaclavek

See all our stories about shoes, including this rectangular pair by Maria Nina Vaclavek.

  • dx_xb

    Went too far towards functionality and sacrificed fashionability. Grotesque.

    • Seal

      Fashion is overvalued anyway. Nobody cares.

  • barney

    Nice but a bit too heavy. No?

  • dx_xb

    Er okay, nobody cares about fashion.