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Home > Magazine > ProjectGadget > Too Many Shoes?

Too Many Shoes?
March 16, 2008

How many do you have?

That you USE, I mean.

(How many coats and jackets? Whew! When you live where it's cold they tend to pile up, even when one is into layering. To think that I used to live out of 2 duffles...)

Here's an old OYB online article-blurb that I'm digging out of backstock and reviving...

****

For years I've had a closet-full of boots and shoes for my various outdoor activities. When I go on a long, diverse road-trip, I usually need a dufflebag just for footwear.

But it occurs to me that nearly all parts of all the footwear I use are redundant, similar, interchangeable. I've seen a few boot systems take advantage of this fact over the years, but none have gone as far as they reasonably could. There is also the fact that many sportsmen are generalists, that I'm not at all alone with my closet full of footwear and its attendant hassles.

I've worked up sketches and diagrams for a system of shoes and boots which would create 16 commonly used sports footwear yet could be carried in a small briefcase. Parts could be easily replaced as they wore out.

All that's needed to configure 22 sets of footwear is:

1 light top, 1 heavy top, 1 rigid base, 3 skate frames, 14 misc soles and pieces.

My starting notion is that the soles would attach to uppers by way of velcro covering each surface plus a rugged ziplock zipper running around the circumference.

One could save money and space and get better fit and durability with such a system. The concept could be shifted to the custom side of things, emphasizing a perfect fit on the two basic platforms that all the shoes are built on.

The prototyper of such a system could worry themselves strictly with the attaching system (and possibly also the custom last) then flesh out the rest from existing shoe subcontractors, those parts being somewhat generic.

Here's a list of footwear I see being readily included in such a system:

sandal, runner, light hiker, heavy hiker, climbing, tennis, b-ball, soccer, road bike, tour bike, mtbike, xc ski classic, xc ski skate, tele, alpine, speed skate, hockey skate, inline speed skate, inline hockey skate, winter boot, workboot and dress shoe...22 shoes!

COOL!

(Crazy?)

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