Dearest shoe designers,
When you set out to design your next round of shoes, please consider this idea- the human foot is perfect. You cannot improve upon the design by adding technology, no matter how much you believe in your ideas.
The best shoes in the world do one thing exceedingly well- they get out of the way. They allow the foot to work in a way that takes full advantage of its natural capability. Anything you add to the shoe will only create a barrier to natural foot function. Things like cushioning, raised heels, narrow toe boxes, motion-control posting, anything that is supposed to return energy or propel you forward, etc. do nothing but interfere.
Shoe design is an art. Unfortunately shoes have been designed like an oil painting. Layer after layer of paint is added. With each additional brush stroke, a more complete picture evolves. Designers have spent years figuring out new brush strokes and paints to create the ultimate picture. This mindset is apparent in shoe design where the solution is always to add more.
Shoes should be designed like sculptures. A sculpture starts as a solid block. A skilled artist slowly strips more and more from the block to reveal the masterpiece hidden within. THIS is how shoes should be designed. The more that is taken away, the more the foot is allowed to function as it was designed. The more that is taken away, the better the shoes become.
Design different shoes that offer two things:
1. Different models that fit a wide variety of foot shapes. How a shoe fits the foot is the most important aspect of choosing the correct model. The more foot shapes you can accommodate, the better.
2. Offer a variety of sole thicknesses and traction. Shoes offer protection. Some conditions warrant thin soles. Other conditions require thick soles.
Some of you already do this and have produced some beautiful masterpieces.
Please start treating shoe design like a sculpture instead of an oil painting. I think you’ll find your art will be appreciated in a way your oil painting shoes could never achieve.