Surely you’ve had this experience before: You slip into your sexiest pair of heels to attend a formal event. You look great, you feel great, and you’re excited for a night of attracting positive attention on your fresh glow and enviable outfit. Then, about two hours into the event, you start to grow weary of the shoes that brought you confidence just hours before. Rocking those hot stilettos makes dancing uncomfortable. Four hours in you find yourself starting to cringe as you stand up to greet an old friend. Is that a stiletto on your foot or a Medieval torture device?
Two women from Canada, students at Simon Fraser University’s School of Interactive Arts and Technology, have created a shoe that can make the pain go away. Nasim Jahangiri and Pantea Shahsavani have created the adjustable pump, a shoe inspired by a situation similar to the one described above.
The girls behind the "smart shoe," Nasim Jahangiri and Pantea Shahsavani.
Jahangiri and Shahsavani’s “smart shoe,” as they call it, has a heel with interlocking parts. So wearers can decrease the height of the heel as the day or event wears on, and the high heel wears on the legs and feet. The heel was part of their Head Over Heels project, and decreases from five to two-and-a-half inches in height.
Not bad for a functional shoe. These are not yet available for the public.
There’s even a pressure sensor in the shoe that vibrates after a couple of hours, indicating that it’s time to decrease the height of that heel. Wearing heels for long periods of time can actually cause soreness, corns, and calluses in the short-term and bunions and back pain in the long-term. So knowing when to take the fabulous down a notch will save you more than just a few hours of physical discomfort.
Shahsavani told SFU’s Marianne Meadahl, “We wanted to create a new design for shoes that maintains the aesthetics of the high-heeled shoes which we love, but with a form which offers comfort and functionality, and also addresses the pain and health risks associated with wearing high heels.”