Design Divine

Just when you think designer footwear can’t get any wackier, there it is again, weirding people out at a new level. Granted, it’s usually a runway-only innovation, and not something that’s likely to catch on or even be manufactured. Still, I can’t help but wonder if there’s some statement being made about the evolving nature of feet. I got this idea in my head when I saw a pair of rubber swimming flippers with kitten heels attached flap down the runway in a recent Hans Mueller-Borg show. Did anyone see that?


The thought is that the essence of human feet may be changing. Where they were once a mechanism for bipedal mammalian locomotion, I’m wondering if they’re moving towards being an appendage primarily for use in human social rituals. Sounds a bit zany, I know, but you’d forgive me for this line of thought if you’d seen some of these latest clodhoppers. Clearly, they’re not designed to support movement by foot, nor musculoskeletal health, and in fact they seem to serve little function beyond making other humans gasp in surprise, delight or downright confusion. 


I’d be keen to hear feedback on all this from any local foot health specialists. Cheltenham podiatrists, care to weigh in? The question is, are our feet changing, or are we changing our behaviours? More to the point, is there any significant difference between these two possibilities? Or am I completely on the wrong track? Perhaps the absence of arch supports and structured uppers that I’ve identified is a red herring, or simply a matter of artistic license.


What does that indicate, though? Could there be a story here about the ascent of humanity from the mundane bonds of gravity? I think I could be onto something here; stay with me. It seems conceptual shoe designers are always trying to achieve the illusion that the wearer is floating off the surface of the ground. Put that in your hat and sit on it.