ShiftWear trainers can be personalised with moving graphics

ShiftWear's trainers can be personalised with moving images at the touch of a button

Flexible screens are incorporated into ShiftWear's collection of trainers, allowing them to be customised with both still and moving images via an app.

ShiftWear customisable trainers

The uppers of the ShiftWear shoes include large sections made from flexible e-paper, a type of super-thin digital screen that mimics the appearance of paper.

The soles are coated in the super-strong synthetic fibre Kevlar to help protect the screens from impact when the trainers are in use.

Wearers can use an accompanying app to choose a static or moving design, which is instantly displayed on the exterior of the trainers using Bluetooth communication. Images can be still photographs taken by the user or animations.

ShiftWear customisable trainers

According to ShiftWear, which is currently seeking funding for the trainers on crowdfunding platform Indiegogo, the shoes rely on a "walk and charge" system. This means that each step taken by the wearer is turned into electricity stored in a battery that powers the screens.

They can also be charged wirelessly. The company says static images will consume very little energy, while moving images offer up to 30 days of battery life.

ShiftWear customisable trainers

The shoes will also include a backlight that can be turned on so images can still be seen in the dark.

The company has said the trainers are waterproof up to five metres, and can be machine washed.

ShiftWear customisable trainers

ShiftWear has plans for launching an online marketplace, where wearers will be able to buy and sell designs.


Related stories: see more trainer design


The company is seeking a flexible goal of $25,000 (£16,000), and at the time of writing had already received $49,155 (£32,000) in backing.

Other established sportswear brands are also looking to capitalise on advances in technology. Both Nike and Adidas have launched apps and online services allowing buyers to customise existing trainer styles.

ShiftWear customisable trainers

In October, Nike unveiled real versions of its self-lacing shoes worn by actor Michael J Fox in the 1985 movie Back to the Future II.

Among the other innovations from sportswear brands this year are Adidas' special-edition version of its Superstar design made from a single seamless piece of leather, and a 3D-printed sole customised to the precise contours of wearers' feet.