Shift Sneaker | The Future Of Adaptive Footwear

With both adidas & Nike unveiling colour shifting footwear in recent weeks, creative agency +rehabstudio have opened their minds to envision what the potential of adaptive footwear might be.

“The potential of apparel lies in materials that change state, or that are designed to have unusual properties, combined with integral electronics. We opened our minds and dared to envision what apparel of the future might look like- what it might do, how it might live and react to our world.” – +rehabstudio

‘Shift Sneaker’ is a concept where 1 sneaker can give you 1 million options (I can see Nike execs cringing at the thought of people only needing to buy 1 pair of shoes already).

“Sneakers are a statement- an extension of the choices we make when we dress. We believe that in the future, when you buy a single pair of sneakers, you will actually be buying 1million pairs.” – +rehabstudio

They imagine this being possible through utilizing a combination of existing (though not completely viable as of yet) technologies. These include ‘phase changing fibers & shape memory that will allow interchangeable designs, meta materials that will be able to bend light and adapt surface temperature and last but not least, conductive threads that allow electrical signals to pass through the shoe that will enable the material to react to human touch.

Being a ‘futurist’, things like this are definitely exciting to think about. Though I don’t think footwear brands need to worry about people only needing to buy just 1 pair of shoes just yet. Changing the colors of a sneaker may be something that becomes viable in the next few years. I can definitely see that, I can even see you being able to alter the design somewhat, but changing the shape of the shoe though? That’s for sure going to take a good amount of time until it becomes a viable option. Being able to morph the silhouette, outsole/midsole and generally altering the shape of the shoe is going to require some type of incredibly complex nano technology. Unfortunately I just don’t see that happening anytime soon (though I wish it would). But I’m getting ahead of myself.

For now you can check out the beautifully laid out project that +rehabstudio has come up below, or for the full experience you can head here.


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Mr. Bailey

Product Designer + Footwear Architect | Founder of @ConceptKicks |

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