Step it Up: Crazy Shoes Hug Feet to Make Mornings Easier

Maybe putting your shoes on seems like a reasonably simple task, but for some people it is impossibly difficult. Those who are disabled or have back pain or arthritis might be completely unable to bend down and pull on even a simple slip-on pair of shoes. A group of designers fashioned this odd-looking solution as an entry in the 2011 Red Dot design competition.

Aptly named Topless Shoes, the invention is – for lack of a better comparison – sort of like sinking your feet into twin tissue boxes and walking around with them on. There are small gripping parts inside each shoe that hold onto your feet and keep you from walking right out of the shoes.

The interior of the shoes is flexible enough to expand slightly to allow the foot in, then it contracts around the foot to hold it securely. However, it doesn’t look like the interior material comes across the top of the foot completely, leaving it exposed. This fact may make the shoes unsuitable for certain weather or climates.¬†Even so, the Topless Shoes seem like a sturdier alternative to house slippers for those who can’t handle pulling on or tying regular shoes. Just don’t expect to win any “best dressed” awards.

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See more in Industrial Design or under Technology. January, 2012.