Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Detachable Heels? Yay or Nay?

The Inventor Patrice L Howard has designed and patented a idea for a detachable heel. Being a freelance shoe designer, I get to hear quite alot about new shoe concepts from inventors. I've seen detachable uppers from several inventors who are already in the market place and manufacturing, in fact there is even an online store devoted to the many brands - http://www.swaptopshoes.com/how-it-works, but this is slightly different. What do we think? Will it actually work? Is it just a gimmick? Is it a design solution to a problem that doesn't really exist?

I can't see that the inventor has made a prototype. They are looking for an investor to invest in their idea.

I know from getting involved with testing labs that the heel attachment is a weak point in high heeled shoemaking (it needs to support your entire body weight on a tiny surface area, so the attachment cannot fail) and quite serious injury could be caused should the heel detach from the upper. So the risk is alot higher with this shoe.

Also I think you might be limited with the heel designs that you can put on the shoe - wider, cuban heels are heavier and require more heel attachment, the stiletto attachment could be too small. With shorter heels you can end up with a rather bizarre 'banana' or 'Ali Baba' look to your shoes as the last doesn't pitch properly with a different heel.

So what do we think? Yes or No?

If I were the inventor, I'd be comissioning Kobi Levi to design it - imagine the possibilities. I'd like to see darts heels that you can detach so you can play darts at the pub with your 'heels' (then hobble home, probably!)

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