Bringing it to Life -Oceane

Our paper insole inside of a pair of heels.
Our paper insole inside of a pair of heels.

We’ve spent months brainstorming ideas, sketching designs and doing background research. Now that we have a pretty good idea of what we want our product to look like, we can finally begin the building process. We are making a prototype of our model. We’ve ordered all of the materials we believe are necessary, including gel bra cups (we need the gel), leather and samples of fabric. We haven’t received the gel bra cups or leather yet, but the samples have come in and we’ve been able to test them out.

Amelia fitting our paper insoles into her pair of high heels.
Amelia fitting our paper insoles into her pair of high heels.

The fabric is very soft and we believe that multiple layers of it could provide some cushioning and stability. One thing I was worried about is how it would handle sweat; would it be able to dry itself? We decided to test this out by pouring some water on one piece, and we were shocked by how fast it dried. Within a few seconds you couldn’t tell any water had been poured on it. However, once we flipped the fabric around to the rougher side we saw that the water had simply seeped through and the bottom wasn’t drying, only the top. We still believe that this fabric could handle sweat pretty well because a human sweats in much smaller amounts than the amount of water we poured on it, so it shouldn’t be as big of a problem.

The previous class we made a model of the sole out of lined paper, sandpaper and popsicle sticks. Although this isn’t anywhere near what our prototype will look like, it gives us a good idea of the size and shape of the sole. While these worked well for regular shoes, they didn’t quite fit the pairs of heels that Amelia brought in. We realized that we will need to find a way to create a sole specifically designed for high heels, with an arch. When looking inside of Amelia’s heels we saw that their soles were almost non existent. There was very little support and cushioning, which doesn’t help the fact that high heeled shoes are already very uncomfortable. Heels are also very narrow and form-fitting, so the insole will need to be slightly more narrow than we expected. This also leaves less space for the insole to fit in, so less available cushioning. Once we get the rest of our materials we will be able to experiment with this a little bit more.

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