There’s something to be said for making shoes that just last longer in the first instant, hence my relentless advocating for designers to consider practicality and longevity in their product design.
Let’s Consider for a moment the purchase of a premium pair of leather shoes, the prerequisite include a duster bag, instruction on aftercare, as well as re-sole/re-heel services for as long as we keep taking them back. However, the same cannot be said for a pair of premium trainers because even with the best aftercare, the material and design makes it difficult to replace a worn down heel; and depending on our gait, heels might wear at an angle, become uncomfortable and force or encourage us to buy a new pair.
There’s been a massive shift in the way we dress for formal occasions, as well as express our individuality. Many of us are choosing a more relaxed look by dressing up our daywear trainers/sneakers for special occasions and even weddings. With all the extra mileage we certainly need heels that can withstand the test of time. Often, the solutions are not complicated and simple tweeks to design can actually make the difference, but it sometimes comes down to numbers and logistics for most brands, hence their reluctance to step up.
If we are to invest in a pair of premium trainers, which lets keep is real, is not cheap, longevity should be a prerequisite. VYN is a Swedish brand who pride themselves on encouraging this very concept. Their slow fashion solutions are really simple, yet genius, and involves deconstruction and self repair heels which clicks into place and off you go.
To replace the worn heel, we simple inset a VYN coin into the corner, pop out the old heel, and click on a new one, and it really is as simple as that.
There’s more – the upper lining around the ankle is also replacable with a choice of colour pop caps to create multiple fashion statements. This way, you get three or four looks from one pair of sneakers and hopefully buy less. My only question is, when are they going to roll this out for womens ….
We can also all agree that our prerequisite from performance shoes includes safety, durability, and then breathable fabrics to get the job done plus a great experience. New Intelligent materials used in the upper sole are helping to achieve these, and whilst design is yet to catch up with replacing a worn down heel, any decent pair will have heels at least five times more robust than our average trainers, so we don’t have to worry about these wearing down in a hurry.
Now, Let’s turn our attention to the middle part of the shoe, where the shoelaces reside, and we all know from experience the tedious ritual of having to stop mid flow to re-do our laces. However, they are essential, due to the grip and tension they provide, which in turn prolongs the life of our trainers. That said, most shoelaces present a sustainability dilemma, as they cannot be recycled due to the micro plastic materials produced within polyester and nylons. Admittedly, there are now biodegradable shoes laces made from hemp, jute and other sustainable materials, but alas, they are not robust enough for high impact shoe performance.
The solution – BoaFit, and it’s all in the Dial – By introducing this clever innovation and design, millions of shoelaces that would otherwise go to landfills are avoided, and better still the technology allows us to tighten our shoes whilst offering outstanding support for mid to long distance trail adventures and walks.
How it works – The single or double dial construction consists of 3 dedicated panels, which redirect the lace tension to specific areas around the mid-foot, ensuring the foot stays firm above the sole package in every condition. On severe impact, the cartridge is designed to release from the bayonet. If this happens, we can re-insert the cartridge back into the bayonet.
The dial has a life guarantee and they provide a free kit repair on request, so we don’t have to keep forking out for the repairs. For those of us who are more fashion forward, its worth knowing that their innovation is now used in over 300 shoe brands including Adidas and Vans, and collaborations, (which is always the way forward) are birthing very edgy and colour pop kicks.