In the past 5 years, the footwear industry has taken bold leaps and bounds to incorporate innovation within the every aspect of shoe design today. With these technologies giving designers a fairly loose leash creatively, we've been exposed some compelling and exciting footwear on the market. These are The 10 Most Creative Shoe Designs of the Past 5 Years.
No. 10 - adidas x Porsche Design Sport Bounce: S Series
The whole adidas x Porsche Bounce series has been insanely sleek, creating visually stunning pieces of footwear. Here we see another wildly designed sole unit, but this time accompanied with a super sleek upper design that's become synonymous with the Porsche brand. Shoes and cars are often said to have similar design characteristics, adidas and Porsche have managed to create a shoe that embodies both of these traits in a beautiful, symbiotic relationship.
No. 9 - Reebok Fold Concept
I’m not sure on the release info on this shoe, or if it ever will be released by Reebok, but the creative approach is impressive. Designer Saul Maret was asked to make a sandal that was a low and mid cut in one upper, leading him to this origami-inspired folding masterpiece. Amazing!
No. 8 - Reebok ATV 19+
Love them or hate them, the Reebok ATV 19+ are absolutely one of the more unconventional looking shoes on the market today. With nineteen irregular lugs on its sole, the shoe looks like a cross between an alien spaceship and an octopus tentacle. Combined with an upper that incorporates the circular lug design throughout, and you have one wild looking, progressive and versatile shoe.
No. 7 - Under Armour Highlight MC LaCrosse
Under Armour has been designing shoes like it has something to prove for the past few years now, and the one shoe that has made people step back and take notice is their Highlight MC Lacrosse cleat. The molded pattern carries over and fades in from the vamp to the ankle, the molded tongue offers a visual never seen before in lacrosse (or pretty much any other cleat-wearing sport). That combined with the faded colorway emphasizes the beautiful design of these cleats.
No. 6 - Vibram FiveFingers
Definitely one of the ten most influential sneaker innovations today, this creative approach cannot be understated. Somewhat ninja shoe inspired, the toe separated barefoot running shoes were probably one of the most shocking shoe designs in recent memory. It’s a great sign when people copy you, as the Vibram FiveFingers called attention to the entire barefoot running category.
No. 5 - Nike Free Trainer 5.0
The woven trend has been an inspiring one, creating some of the most visually stunning shoes to date (shout out to the Nike Roshe Run Woven), incorporated to enhance performance through the latest shoe uppers. Just as in the Footscape Woven Freemotion Chukka, designs are starting to integrate unconventional construction across the upper that creates a super breathable and flexible shoe. With both shoes, Nike has executed these to perfection and have created a visually compelling design that will stand the test of time.
No. 4 - Nike Zoom Kobe VI
From top to bottom, every element of this shoe has been intricately designed to be an extension of Kobe and his Black Mamba persona. The low ankle cut, sleek heel counter and molded insoles were beautifully designed, creating a brilliant basketball shoe from a performance standpoint, with a rubber snake skin to set it off. Taking Kobe’s Black Mamba persona and applying it in such a unique way brought this shoe to another level.
No. 3 - Reebok Zig Tech
The Reebok Zig Tech’s design had a massive impact on the athletic footwear scene. A sophisticated and aggressive sole combined with a lightweight and clean upper design, created an extremely energetic and aesthetically-pleasing shoe. Form should always follow function, but it’s rare that the functionality directly affects the aesthetics quite so beautifully.
No. 2 - Nike Studio Wrap
Combining beautiful aesthetics and practical function is something Nike always seems to nail. Tackling two major women’s fitness shoe issues, hygiene and traction, the Studio Wraps adds a new dimension to the women’s fitness category. However, the shoes are different and it may take awhile for people to gravitate towards them, but we're sure Nike will know how to make the transition as sleek and enticing as possible.
No. 1 - Nike 3D-Printed Vapor Laser Talon Cleat
Creating the more rigid cleat sole via 3D printing was genius level ingenuity, and may have an impact on how footwear is designed and developed forever. Cleats are a perfect shoe to combine with current 3D printing limitations (the material choices being somewhat limited as it pertains to performance footwear). The printed mesh sole gives the cleats a strong and flexible bottom, combined with the solid, protruded studs to create a super lightweight sole that’s perfect for football. Look forward to seeing how the design of these 3D printed cleats evolves in the near future.