Designed to look like the spiritual lovechild of the Nike Adapt Self-Lace Shoe and the Nike GO FlyEase Hands-Free Shoe, this proof-of-concept shoe design by Jeff Shane features a nitinol (nickel-titanium alloy) spring in the outsole. . Known for its shape memory properties, the spring can expand and contract, allowing the shoe to open or close around your foot! No laces, no hands, no problem!
Unlike the Nike Adapt which comes with sensors, motors and batteries, Shane’s shoes (titled ‘Heaven’s Door’) use a much simpler low-tech system that doesn’t require all those bells and whistles. The shoe’s ingenious lacing/unloading mechanism is based on a wireless charging mat that helps heat up the nitinol spring, causing it to expand and open the shoe. Slide your foot in and out of the mat and the nitinol spring will begin to cool and return to its original shape, allowing the shoe to compress tightly around your ankle.
Designer: Jeff Shane
Heaven’s Door has a unique design style that combines the form-fitting design of a shoe with the open ankle aesthetic of a slip-on sandal. The shoes have a leather body, interrupted by an elastic band, which connects the back flap to the main shoe. A rubber outsole hints at comfortable outdoor use in an urban environment, by tucking the springs into a recessed channel that runs the length of the shoe. While remarkable in their auto open/close capabilities, the shoes don’t try to look futuristic – because they aren’t. Unlike the Nike Adapt, which has an undeniable sci-fi backstory, Heaven’s Door is just a shoe concept with a bright idea driven by physics. This is a seemingly normal-looking shoe that has an incredible trick up its sleeve.
For Shane, designing the shoe required a lot of trial, error, and prototyping (you can read his entire case study on his portfolio website). Shane played with straight and coiled nitinol elements, tinkered with the design of the sole, the opening and closing mechanism, and also experimented with finding the right place to add elastic bands to keep the back flap of the shoe from deforming .
At the heart of the footwear is the ingenious low-tech opening and closing mechanism that relies on a wireless charging mat (keeps all technology out of the shoe to ensure longevity and the ability to be fully water resistant). The mat is connected to a coil hidden in the outsole of the shoe, which is then heated to 70°C, which dislodges a nitinol spring and a set of tension springs under the heel to pull it up, causing the rear of the shoe to flap . almost left behind. Drawbridge. This only lasts as long as the shoe remains on the wireless mat. Turn it off and the Nitinol cools down again and begins to take its original shape by closing the back flap.
What the Heavens Door Shoe does is cleverly remove the need for technical components within the shoe itself. This helps reduce the cost of the footwear while still giving it its signature features. It also means there is no possibility of planned obsolescence or parts failing accidentally. Even if it fails, the shoes can still be put on and taken off manually using the pull tab on the back of the shoe.
Ultimately, the shoe aims to appeal to everyone thanks to its smart, universal design… but like Nike’s GO FlyEase hands-free shoes, Shane designed his concept with the disabled in mind. Shane used the term “dressed cognition” to describe the most disability-oriented fashions to be found in the world today. “It refers to the systematic effect that clothing has on the psychological processes of the wearer,” Shen explains. “Not being able to put on shoes yourself and constantly feeling that they are wearing in a disabled person Keeping track of user experience and self-esteem is destructive.
The Heaven’s Door shoe concept is not only a smart, accessible, truly hands-free and low-tech self-wearing shoe, but it also destroys the idea that disabled fashion should look different from regular fashion. Self-supporting shoes have a distinctive contemporary style that appeals to a broad population. Or should I say popu-laceless!?