Shoes started out as functional designs meant to protect our feet, but over time they have become style statements, a representation of our personality and our personal sense of fashion. After all, don’t they say you can tell a lot about a man by the condition of his shoes? Personally, I love a good pair of sturdy, stylish sneakers, the ones that can get me through the day without hurting my shoes, and also match my outfits! However, I know that is not the case for everyone. People have high demands and expectations when it comes to their shoes, which is why designers unleash all their creativity, sparing no effort to create unique, innovative and ergonomic shoes! From Nike Bubble Max concept sneakers to 3D printed sneakers that will make you feel like Bigfoot – these shoe designs are as futuristic, inventive and fashionable as they come!
1. Nike Bubble Max
From the Nike Air Max series, sneakerheads may one day launch their Nike Bubble Max collection. Sure, it’s still a concept, but like most of the brand’s unique designs, it will sell. But again, the same pair will be hated by people with trypophobia (fear of piles of bumps or holes). Image renders show a stem with a dotted pattern that looks and we assume looks like scales. It could be something similar to what was used on the Nike Zoom Kobe 6 “Grinch” Protro. The large Swoosh with Bubble Max written on the side appears to be painted on. The tongue area simply shows a split in the middle where the sock liner is exposed. The lining extends above the ankle giving an illusion of high end. When it comes to actual function, stepping on the Nike Bubble Max can feel like walking on clouds.
2. The Cryptid sneaker
The Cryptide sneaker was designed by Stephan Henrich for Sintratec. The German architect and designer imagined a fully 3D pair of shoes intended to be laser sintered with a flexible TPE material. Using a Sintratec S2 System 3D printer, the shoes were formed and printed. The Cryptide features an open design sole. The designer said this was made possible by SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) production and a material called Sintratec TPE elastomer. Simply put, SLS is additive manufacturing that takes advantage of a laser to sinter particles into a stronger 3D structure. Henrich and Sintratec worked together to bring the design of the sneaker to life.
3. Parametriks Print 001 sneakers
The Parametriks Print 001 sneaker cleverly uses design and material science to create a comfortable, stylish, and easy-to-build sneaker. Much like how the pots use a single material injection molded into the shape of a shoe, the Print 001 relies on 3D printing to craft its design… which was achieved using parametric algorithms. The shoe/sneaker uses a rather intriguing triangular mesh matrix that flexes around the wearer’s foot, fitting it perfectly thanks to the shoe’s tailored design. Made of TPU, the shoe is about as flexible as a pair of Crocs, while feeling infinitely cooler and offering an unparalleled level of breathability and flexibility.
4. Conceptual Tesla football boots
Former Nike and Adidas designer Hussain Almossawi asked himself a question. As a Tesla enthusiast, what if the company, with its resources, creativity and insanely wealthy CEO, decided to go beyond sports cars and design sportswear instead ? The Tesla Concept Football Boots combine Hussain’s love for football and for the Tesla brand in a pair of performance and radiant sportswear. The shoes are pristine white, with electroluminescent fabric woven into the sides and back, creating lines of light down the side, leading to a glowing, pulsating Tesla logo on the back. Plus, the studs at the base of the shoes also glow, making them look great in the dark, but even more so when dribbling the ball, creating one of the most beautiful light trails as you run!
5. Nike Air Force 1 with removable carabiner swoosh
This Air Force 1 Low comes with a removable Swoosh-shaped carabiner attached to the rubber Swoosh on its side. The interesting catch here, for an outdoorsman in you, is that the carabiner serves no more purpose than being used as a key ring dangling from a loop of your jeans. The metal EDC on the Swoosh is removable, but labeling suggests it can only support one kg of weight (about 2 pounds). So, if you were thinking of attaching a carabiner to your shoe and starting your excursion on a vertical rock, turn back!
6. The Razer Cariuma sneakers
The upper and lining of the Razer Cariuma sneakers are made of organic cotton canvas. The sole uses a non-slip natural rubber. You can choose between black or white insole. For added comfort, the insole has an organic cork insert made from mamona oil and memory foam, a hallmark Cariuma feature. The laces of the low or high version are made with recycled plastic, passing through these hollow metal tips. Like most pairs from Cariuma, the construction of the sneakers is hand vulcanized with a fully stitched outsole.
7. Hana sneakers
Inspired by the 90s with references to the navy look, the durable shoes express the ironic and dynamic style of ID.EIGHT. The contrast between the white recycled polyester upper and the AppleSkin details in shades of red and blue creates a mix of contemporary and clear colors. They use four materials derived from apples, grapes, seeds and pineapple. Piñatex, made with the waste leaves of pineapples grown in the Philippines; Vegea, obtained from the bio-polymerization of pomace in Italy; AppleSkin, obtained from the bio-polymerization of apple peels and cores still in Italy. It is made of lycra and recycled mesh for the inserts on the upper, sole, laces and the label is also made of recycled materials.
8. Monumental Mauve
When American fashion designer Matthew M. Williams joined Givenchy as creative director in June 2020, he started introducing different designs that look futuristic. The most popular of a recent collection is the Monumental Mallow which now comes in all red. The red sneaker comes in two iterations: matte and shiny. The slip-on sneakers are sleek and simple in matte, giving off a subtle, minimal look. The shiny variant, on the other hand, looks shockingly loud.
9. Element O
Element 0 changes the way shoes are designed and manufactured by making durability as important as comfort. This means redesigning footwear materials in a way that benefits your feet as well as the environment. The Element 0 sneakers feature a unisex design constructed from both naturally-sourced and recycled materials (the company is even transparent about where and how it sources the materials). The shoes sit on a recycled rubber and cork outsole, which literally gives your step a spring; while an insole crafted from a combination of wool, corn fiber, wood and natural latex gives your foot a comfortable surface to rest on that’s also water-absorbent and odor-resistant.
10. Adidas Air Jordans
Designer Thomas Le decided to attempt to create concept Adidas Air Jordans. The Adidas Air Jordans sport a very contemporary space-inspired aesthetic, not only for the progress we’ve made with space travel over the past few years, but also as a nod to the movie Space Jam. by Jordan from 1996. Built with the classic Boost outsoles and their bubbly texture, the Adidas Air Jordans outsoles extend all the way to the back of the heel. The lifestyle sneaker also opts for a laceless design, with elastic ties on each side, as well as an outer body that’s been knitted to hug your feet for a secure fit. They’ve been rendered in three colors, for now… an astronaut white, space gray, and a coral-white-black combination that looks like a contemporary take on the original Air Jordans color scheme.