Hands-Off: A New Paradigm for Shoes

Creator: Jeff Shen
Supervisor: Peter Yeadon

The study focused on creating stylish shoes that are effortless for anyone to don and doff. Velcro, zippers, dexterity, laces, magnets and elastics, Mindy Scheier on adaptive fashion and difficulty in dressing, Stephanie Thomas on fashion for people with disabilities, orthotics, orthopedic shoes, fingers, uniforms, strength, fickle trends, and occupational hazards, were some of the necessary points of departure for considering a new kind of shoe that’d automatically envelop a foot. 
Of equal importance, were smart materials that might enable it all to happen. When the shoe is placed on its doormat, an electrical circuit is complete, causing the shoe to open. Taking it off the mat, causes the shoe to close about the heel. This prototype is shown without the full sole so that you can see the smart materials in action, unencapsulated. It’s utterly silent because the material is the motor. Simple. Effortless. Hands-off.