Specially- designed shoes improve ballerinas’ comfort and shoe durability through 3D printing.
As personalized clothing is growing in popularity, specialized footwear has been a part of this trend. We have seen new technology revolutionizing the way we approach footwear. For example, the Freshoe concept which uses a graphene layer to cool the wearer’s feet. This embedded layer has the added benefit of improving the shoe’s durability and reducing foot odor. We have also seen shoe-related innovations targeted at dancers. E-TRACES is a pair of smart shoes that track dancers’ movements as they dance. By monitoring the dancer’s actions and pressure the connecting app provides dancers with a graphical recording of their performance. Continuing with this trend, a graduate from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design has come up with P-rouette, a 3D printed ballet shoe.
Product design graduate, Hadar Neeman, saw the need to improve ballet dancers’ comfort after noticing his ballet-dancing friend’s bruised toes and feet. The shoe design uses a scanned image of the dancer’s foot, which they can take conveniently on their smartphone. The pointe shoe is then printed based on this image. The sole consists of a lightweight, airy lattice-structure of an elastomeric polymer, fitted to the foot’s contours. The upper section is an elastic, satin-esque fabric which attaches to the sole during the printing process. This means that the process requires no glue to attach the two materials, making the shoes last longer. In the words of Neeman: “I learned about pointe shoes and the more I got into the field, the more I realised that there was a lot of potential for improving the existing shoe and improving the quality of life of the dancers.”