Think Could Change Shoe Design Everywhere


If your shoes wear out do you throw them away, have them repaired, or try to recycle them? Recycling your shoes may prove challenging. Although there are a few shoe recycling programs in existence shoes often can't be recycled because of the adhesives used in their construction. Designer Ben Chappell hopes to changes this with Think.

It is Ben Chappell's innovative thinking that has helped him design Think, a shoe prototype, which will allow consumers to recycle the shoe as well as exchange parts of it for newer or cooler ones. 

The general idea of Think is to create the shoe so that it is attached with mechanical locks instead of adhesive. The mechanical locks would allow the consumer to easily take the shoe apart and replace and recycle any part that is worn out (ex. the heel of the shoe) or no longer fashionable.

The exchangeable parts come in several designs and colors. So, if I am assuming correctly, this may allow the consumer to have the same pair of Think shoes for several years without constantly having to live with the same design and color. Think of the money saved on shoes and of course the reduction in landfill waste.

In addition there are ideas in the works to begin a Think recycling programs where consumers return an old part of the shoe to a retailer and in return the consumer receives a discount on her next Think purchase.

If you think this shoe could revolutionize the way shoes are made? You may be right, but we wont know until the shoe design is complete and comes on the market. When will that be? The designer is not sure yet, but he's working on it now to get it out there.

What do you think of the Think shoes? Would you buy them? Me? I would like to know how comfortable Think shoes are supposed to be. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Via Yanko Design and Ben Chappell.

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Sep 28, 2007
by AmericanCynic

The next step (no pun intended)

Beyond this, the major structural components (footbed and heel cup) should be custom-molded to the wearer, like good orthotics. Best thing would be some kind of foot scanner in the store that feeds a ton of your 3D foot data into a computer aided manufacturing system, maybe something similar to a rapid prototyping system, although I don't feel RP materials are durable enough. The mechanical locks can stay in fixed positions thanks to the CAM system so they can mate with off-the-shelf soles, uppers, protective toe-caps for work shoes, etc.

Oct 11, 2007
by Anonymous (not verified)

trademark conflict

There is a German shoe company called Think. You might want to reconsider the name. The foot scanner thing has been tried. The problem is that everybody feel fit differently and the foot is a dynamic shape. Some like it loose some like it tight. Scanning is only the beginning to making a comfortable shoe.

Oct 15, 2007
by Mark (not verified)

Some men wear shoes too.

But even as a Green, I'm not sure I'd want shoes with flowers on 'em.


Feb 3, 2008
by Anonymous (not verified)

comments on THINK branding

There is a German company which sells alot of shoes in USA and UK. They spell their name THink! and you can find them on Zappos or I would change it early and do something like LLink for the interchangeable design of your footwear. I cannot image that it has proper rear and mid-foot support as your divisions are for movement and good fitting shoes have flexible supportive materials.


Apr 2, 2008
by Anonymous


I have a lot of shoe deswign but I dont know how to get it to a good shoe company. I would like to work with people to make shoes better for people and better for the environment.

Apr 2, 2008
by Anonymous


I have a lot of shoe design in my stechbook but I do not know how to reach a shoe company with my ideas. I would also like to get shoes made with a lot of recycle enviroment friendly things.

Jul 29, 2008
by Anonymous

customised shoe

Dear sir ,

I have some good idea for customised shoe - one bottom with multpule upper straps.

In a shop we keep , customer can pick their design , so will fix it by stud .

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