Monday, December 12, 2016

Pumped: The Art & Craft of Shoemaking at Charlotte, NC's Mint Museum

Back in June I was in Charlotte and was able to see Pumped: The Art & Craft of Shoemaking, an exhibit on the art of shoe making at The Mint Museum.

The exhibit ran from May to August, so unfortunately it is no longer open. Still you can enjoy my pictures and what I learned.

These are silk shoes from the early 1700s. Like other shoes from the time, they were made so that each foot was identical.

These are silk boots from the mid-1800s. They are beautiful, but seem very unpractical, like they would get filth the minute you walked outside.

These are some of the tools used in shoe making. It reminds me of visiting the shoe making shop in Colonial Williamsburg

These shoes are from the 1860s and represent a return to embellished shoes. Hooped-skirts were becoming popular and allowed glimpses of the wearer's shoes.

These are slippers from the 1890s but both remind me of more modern styles.

These shoes which include clear plastic are from the 1940-60s but remind me of newer shoes, including Cinderella's glass slipper being re-imagined

If you thought heelless shoes were a thing of modern times, these are from 1955-1960.

And one of m favorite displays, the shoe on the left are Yves Saint Laurent haute couture while those on the right are a knock-off. While the look similar, the knock-off is slightly different to avoid copyright infringement. The original is made of leather and the punches are done by hand. The knock off is made of man-made materials and the punching was done by machine.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Self-lacing shoes are actually here

Self-lacing shoes have hit the market!

Back in 2010, Through the Sole wrote that Nike had patented technology for self-lacing shoes. Earlier this week, those shoes hit the market, the NIKE HYPERADAPT 1.0.

Here's how the sneakers work. When you place your foot in them and stand-up, there is a sensor that automatically tightens them. Then, there are buttons to tighten or loosen them, according to Nike. The sneakers need to be charged and come with charging pucks and an adapter.

The idea of self-lacing sneakers was first shown in the movie Back to the Future 2.

Nike says the self-lacing is more than just a cool use of technology, the sneakers allow athletes to make adjustments quickly without slowing them down.

The sneakers retail for $720.

Popsugar recently got to try a pair out and said you cannot feel the batteries in the sole. The tester liked them for both training and running.

Nike isn't the only one trying self-lacing shoes. Puma is coming out with the Autodisc, also a self-lacing sneaker.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

New environmentally friendly sneakers

What if sneakers could be made of biodegradable material? Or how about recycled plastic?

That's just what shoemaker, Adidas, is doing with its latest designs.

Back in March of 2012, Through the Sole wrote about using recycled garbage to make shoes for the homeless. Now, the idea is going mainstream.

Last month, Adidas released the Adidas UltraBOOST Uncaged x Parley, pictured above, made from recycled ocean plastic. The 7,000 pairs of sneakers retail for $220. Each pair is made from 95 percent recycled ocean plastic and 5 percent recycled polyester. A pair of the sneakers reuse 11 plastic bottles. The shoes laces, heel cap base material, heel webbing, heel lining and the sock-liner cover are also made with recycled materials, according to Adidas.

Adidas plans to continue to make sneakers with recycled plastic, 1 million pairs by the end of 2017 and hopefully one day use no virgin plastic at all.

As for the sneakers themselves, they are part of Adidas Boost line which is popular for running. I have heard great things about them, but am yet to try them out.

Now what if sneakers could help the plastic problem by not creating waste?