Designing the Shoe (Oceane Maher)

After weeks of research and gathering information, we finally got to start the actual designing process. Each group member drew out what they pictured the heel to look like, and we all came together to evaluate our potential designs. Most of the designs focused on the inside of the heel (the sole) rather than the outer appearance. Collectively we agreed that our focus should be emphasizing the shoe’s comfort and stability rather than the aesthetic look. We figured that most heels master the appearance issue-it’s the comfort that needs some work.

When comparing designs we found that most of our ideas were based on the sole of the shoe. Sara sketched a sole made of foam padding, leather and gel, with the foam also placed behind the heel and the leather surrounding the foot. The foam and gel would provide comfort while the leather would give the foot stability. We went down a checklist of important things pertaining to our idea for each individual design, and came to a consensus that Sara had the most efficient and doable design.

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Sara’s sketch of a potential sole and shoe interior.

However, Sara’s focus was on the sole and interior of the shoe, and there was virtually no mention of the shoe itself. This made us think a little deeper about our whole idea. Like I mentioned earlier, the problem with heels isn’t that they are unattractive, but they are highly uncomfortable. If heels could come with a sole similar to the one Sara designed, and keep their lovely appearance, they would be twice as popular and three times more appreciated than they already are.

Sara presents her design to the group.
Sara presents her design to the group.

So our group made the decision to focus on a sole that for now can be inserted into a pair of high heels, but ideally in the future would be implanted in them. We like Sara’s design because of the balance between comfort and stability, but it’s difficult to know how successful the it would really be without testing them out first. A big part of our project will be trial and error, and learning and building from what works and what doesn’t.

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