Neta Soreq's Energetic Pass shoes have bouncy 3D-printed soles
Israeli designer Neta Soreq 3D printed the springy platforms and heels of these shoes to give the wearer a "new walking experience" (+ movie).
The Energetic Pass footwear comes in two variations: one pair has a bouncy platform beneath the centre of the foot, and the other features springs under the front and back.
Both models surround the feet with sinuous stripes of material based on muscle fibres.
"My shoe design came from studying hyperactive people, with a focus on different therapy treatments that direct the energy in the body," said Soreq, who created the shoes while studying at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design near Jerusalem.
"I was inspired by the structure of the muscles and the natural movement of the foot in different positions."
The strands of material curve down from the upper and spiral around to form the bases. These shapes create flexible springs that alter the way the shoes' users move.
"I designed a spring heel, which has a mechanism that acts as a shock absorber and gives the wearer a new walking experience," said the designer.
To create the shoes, Soreq started with a 3D scan of an anatomically correct shoe tree – traditionally a wooden insert that is placed into an empty shoe to maintain its shape.
Using Solidworks 3D software, she modelled the designs line by line to build up the forms.
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"I used the traditional technique of building shoes and combined it with the technological advantages of computer design," Soreq said. "This kind of 'tech-couture' process opens up new opportunities of design."
The shoes were printed in nylon using selective laser sintering, while the soles are made from a light-sensitive photopolymer material that provides grip.
Each weighs between 220 and 330 grams, and the designer insists that they are comfortable to walk in.
Soreq is now working on a collection that will be "more ready-to-wear" than the current designs.
Footwear designers are continuously curious about creating shoes that alter and impair the way we walk. Other examples include back-to-front high heels that force the body into awkward shapes, and concrete shoes that are too heavy to lift.