One company aims to reconnect people and the planet with its barefoot footwear
Spotted: Shoes are an essential part of our everyday wardrobes, and experts say that the global footwear industry will be worth more than $96 billion (around €85.9 billion) by 2025. But as the demand for shoes grows, so does its environmental impact. However, one company wants its customers to be at one with nature while also helping their feet.
There is a sensory connection between the feet and the brain, and Vivobarefoot has created footwear with one goal, to bring people closer to nature with its shoes. The company draws upon three design principles: wide, thin, and flexible. The idea is that the shoes mimic the feeling of being barefoot as closely as possible so that wearers can feel the ground beneath their feet, and this promotes the feet’s natural strength and movement.
The company uses a first-of-its-kind digital platform, VivoBiome, to create made-to-order, personalised, locally assembled, and circular footwear. The platform analyses individual 3D foot scans and gait patterns and generates custom shoe designs to give wearers ideal comfort, support, and performance.
Vivobarefoot works with Unreal Engine, which uses photoreal visuals that bring the product more to life, so users can virtually try on the product. Wearers can also personalise their scans to create an artificial-intelligence-enabled (AI) model, and can choose to customise the design and colour further before it gets printed. The shoes are made using SLS 3D printing, with AI-driven transparency data that gives real-time sustainability credentials.
The company has just launched its “feet-first” pioneer programme, where applicants will try out three pairs of VivoBiome products to provide feedback. Following the programme, the first generation of footwear will also be available for other members in the UK at the start of next year.
The footwear industry is massive, and Springwise spotted many innovations in the archive that are looking to make the sector more sustainable, like fully recyclable, custom 3D-printed footwear and dissolvable baby shoes.
Written By: Anam Alam