Impact-Absorbing Footwear: These Shoes Are Made For Power

Who is Sylvia Fado?

This London-based designer has a strong interest in architecture and knitwear design, two elements she has incorporated into her latest footwear collection, Kinetic Traces.  Having completed a Masters in Fashion Footwear at the London College of Fashion, she has made her fashion focus the examination and improvement of impact absorption and the adoption of those findings into the design of high-end women's high-heeled shoes.


Kintetic Traces: Source: DezeenKintetic Traces: Source: Dezeen


In her own words: "I have been analyzing comfort elements in footwear. particularly impact absorption, shoe weight, traction (the relationship between shoe and surface) and upper durabilitiy. I sought to bring these concepts into the design of high-end women's high heels. The central concept was impact absorption, which was studied from a mechanical point of view because heels are structures  which are affected by many different forces during the process of human motion."


Fado's  Wooden heels: Source: DezeenFado's Wooden heels: Source: Dezeen


The Kinetic Traces collection

The Kinetic Traces shoe collection is a project aimed at altering the comfort elements in footwear, particularly function and wearability, which are often sacrificed in hgh-end fashion designs. In collaboration with both an architect and a photographer, Fado was able to study the interacting forces of the high heeled shoe during movement and to see this process broken down into individual parts.

What makes Kinetic Traces a unique exhibit?

The answer lies in the materials used to create this footwear. Studying movement translates into the exploration and utilization of many unconventional materials like stainless steel springs, hydraulic pistons, pneumatic hydraulics, metal rings and rubber balls, all of which cushion and absorb the impact of the walking process. The springs and hydaraulics are either used on their own or in combination with other elements such as transparent acrylic plastic.


Kinetic Traces Wooden Heels-Back View: Source: DezeenKinetic Traces Wooden Heels-Back View: Source: Dezeen


Fado also utilizes different types of woods such as Columbian Vera wood and English walnut. For those sections of the shoe platforms that are more complex, she uses 3-D printing in navy blue nylon. Research on impact absorption led her to make further adaptations to her footwear designs. She focused on the heels, changing their shapes and adding more elements for the purpose of creating better flexibility in a range of designs.

The future of impact absorption on high heel production methods

Technology has made the production of these hgh heels possible. Although they are wearable, it must be remembered that they have been created as prototypes to represent possibiities and potential solutions rather than for daily wear.

Time will tell on these far out but fascinating selections of footwear. Silvia Fado is a designer who not only thinks out of the box, she creates her own box and thinks out of that one as well! 

Closing thoughts about shoes:

Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world. ~ Marilyn Monroe

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