Via the Morning News, today I ran across (ahem) this brief but enlightening history of the Brannock device, the two-pound steel instrument invented to provide a universal and precise way of measuring shoe size (previously on MeFi). [more inside]
The Rise Of Men’s British-Made Shoes
The most famous Northampton technique is the 'Goodyear welted' shoe. Invented in 1869 by Charles Goodyear, Jr., the Goodyear welted process is the footwear equivalent of the off-side rule: until somebody sits you down and talks you through it, it’s quite hard to understand.
The process involves approximately 75 components and 200 separate operations. On average, the whole process, from start to finish, takes eight weeks to complete. The main benefit of footwear that is made using Goodyear welted construction is that it can be resoled repeatedly, giving the shoe a longer lifespan.
"However you look at this style, truth is, it's the best cluster of masculine, feminine, chic, laid back, basic, put together & casual and does really work with everything: skirts, dresses, trousers, jeans for either work or not." Oxford shoes, "flat and happy". [more inside]
How To Make Shoes (silent SLYT), from the 1930's
Mental Floss links to free How-To guides from a hundred years ago that are still helpful if you need to mesmerize someone or name a baby
Fondue slippers, that is all.
Photographer Shannon Jensen's series “The Long Walk” documents the shoes belonging to some of the 30,000 refugees who traveled by foot across the border from Sudan’s Blue Nile state over to neighboring South Sudan. Additional background on the Amnesty award-winning project. [more inside]
12 Shoes for 12 Lovers [NSFW] is a creative collection of sculptural footwear by New York-based Chilean designer Sebastian Errazuriz that is inspired by his past personal relationships. [SFW alternate link]
The family of redditor oktober75 have opened up a great aunt's shoe store hidden for over forty years. There is a lot of interest in the front page Reddit post with offers to purchase the shoes and boxes, despite probable damage. I'm no hipster and I don't play one on tv but I'd love to get a pair of these.
Much note has been made of Wendy Davis's 13 hour filibuster in Texas . Now the oft-photographed shoes she was wearing are getting their due.
You can accurately judge a person just by looking at their shoes, psychologists say. "Researchers at the University of Kansas found that people were able to correctly judge a stranger's age, gender, income, political affiliation, emotional and other important personality traits just by looking at the person's shoes." Virginia Postrel responded: "The study made a solid contribution to research on first impressions, but it was hardly earthshaking. By getting so much attention, however, it demonstrated a sociological truth: People love to talk about shoes. Even those who dismissed the research as silly often felt compelled to call radio stations or comment on websites, providing details about their own choices. Why this fascination with footwear? " [more inside]
"Humans are playing God by physically and metaphorically perfecting themselves." Do these shoes "inflict a new beauty standard"?
"Is cinema a language about to get lost, an art about to die?" [Vimeo] During the 1982 Cannes Film Festival, Wim Wenders set up a static camera in room 666 of the Hotel Martinez and provided selected film directors (inc. Spielberg, Godard, Fassbinder & Herzog) a list of questions to answer concerning the future of cinema. Each director was given one 16 mm reel (approximately 11 minutes) to answer.
obsessedwithshoes is just that, including a brief history of designer shoes. Shoerazzi is another.
If these are too modern you can always check out Footwear of the Middle Ages.
If these are too modern you can always check out Footwear of the Middle Ages.
Dog Poop Insurance is a product that would potentially be available for a single-premium at the time of purchasing your new shoes.
The Nike Mag (the automatic lacing shoe from the 1989 film Back to the Future II) is here. Marty Mc, err, Michael J. Fox will appear on the David Letterman show tonight, as all of the proceeds from sales are going to Parkinson's research. [more inside]
Corey Adams and Alex Craig are a tag-team of independent filmmakers probably best known for their feature film, Machotaildrop, the fruit of having won a million dollars in a filmmaking contest held by Fuel TV. That win was on the strength of their very cool short, Harvey Spannos. Their most recent project features the dread "Manwolf" gang from Machotaildrop and appears to be an ad for an eponymous skate shoe model that is being released by éS. Mammas don't let your babies grow up to be Manwolfs (sic, so sic, dude.)
Eleven minutes of the most mindblowing personal collection of Nike shoes, themed rooms, backwards walking and decorations you'll ever see. Jordan Michael Geller's Shoezeum.
An exhaustive guide to the sneakers worn by Jerry Seinfeld over the course of Seinfeld's 9-year run. [more inside]
A few years back MeFi'er freshwater_pr0n covered the burgeoning trend of barefoot & minimalist footwear running. The trend has continued with Fila now producing a look-alike to the popular Vibram Five Fingers shoes, but the jury is still out, scientifically speaking, regarding the impact of running in little to no footwear. One study points to low loading rate as the potential key to injuries, while longtime running researcher Benno M. Nigg's new text says just the opposite and a third (excerpted) study seems to point out that a change in footfall/strike correlates to footwear but may not reduce injuries. Given the shifting scientific analysis, runners are left with impassioned testimonials and heated debates. Nigg's advice might ring truest: shoe comfort is "probably the most important variable". [more inside]
How To Tie Your Shoes. A video in the spirit of How to Eat a Chicken Wing. Bonus - it's also pretty funny. [SLYT]
Nike has filed a patent for the power-lacing sneakers from Back to the Future II. There have been false alarms before, but this time there are Nike-made descriptions and diagrams.
There are some unique finds that tell us about the early lives of people. But of course there are other ways...
Here's a video (YT) from Nike's newest Japanese ad campaign with DJ/musician Daito Manabe and friends remixing Also sprach Zarathustra—with shoes (and some help from Ableton Live). Daito Manabe's blog [in Japanese] offers some additional photos. (via Engadget)
"'I am going to get rid of everything, including mosquitoes, that bothers me, anywhere in the world, and then I will be a very happy, content person.' We're laughing, but it's what we all do." SLYT: A wry two-minute teaching about avoiding pain by Buddhist nun Pema Chodron, based on these writings of the 8th century scholar Shantideva. For those who don't like video, here's a transcript (scroll down.) For those who really like video, here's 55 minutes of Chodron with Bill Moyers. (This too has a partial transcript.)
People adore Zappos. Will that continue now that Amazon has bought them for nearly a billion dollars? In a battle of new wave corporate communication, Jeff Bezos announced it on Youtube while the Zappos' CEO posted his letter to the employees on their blog. (Previous Zappos posts: 1, 2)
Crocs face bankruptcy! They sold over 100 million pairs of their practical, stylish yet affordable shoes to George W Bush, Steven Tyler and my overweight aunt amongst others, so where did it all go wrong? One bright note: boxed, early models are already selling on Ebay for big money.
"At Stanford University two sales representatives from Nike were watching the athletics team practise. Part of their job was to gather feedback from the company's sponsored runners about which shoes they preferred. Unfortunately, it was proving difficult that day as the runners all seemed to prefer... nothing" - from Christopher McDougall's forthcoming book "Born to Run" which looks at the story the growth of the $20 billion running shoe industry. Starting form Bill Bowerman's Cortez in 1972 onwards runners have seen a steady flow of innovations to improve performance and reduce injury rates. Only it would appear they may not work. By way of contrast the book includes coverage of the Mexican Tarahumara tribe who run ultramarathons with shoes made from car tyres on their feet.
Women losing their shoes, mostly high heels, appear to be a common theme in movies and TV serials... This list one is the first, consisting of what I term “Prime” shoe loss scenes... [more inside]
Wednesday, a woman jumped from the top tier of the Queens Center Mall, leaving by the railing a distraught companion, her purse, and her shoes. At first glance it would seem a spontaneous, strange thing to do, but it was most likely a premeditated action to show her intent. Workers on the Golden Gate Bridge use shoes as a clue of somebody about to jump, and Japan has long known that people who end their life leave their shoes behind. Age has little to do with it, and method seems irrelevant, so the common bond seems to be that taking off your shoes is the second-to-the-last decision some people make in their lives.
"...relatives and fans of the shoe-throwing journalist, who has become a national hero, have staged a sit-in in a park adjacent to the Green Zone, and their numbers are growing. Army tanks and helicopters surrounded the 400 protesters and demanded they disband, but authorities were apparently persuaded that Iraq didn't need its own Tiananmen Square massacre, so the protest continues. Indeed, al-Zeidi has become a unifying figure for an Iraq split along a deep sectarian divide, with Sunnis from Samarra reportedly joining the predominantly Shi'ite supporters of the shoe-thrower. At last report, the two groups were sitting side by side eating lamb and vegetables, with the soldiers guarding them joining in." Via [more inside]
The shoe hurled at President George W. Bush has sent sales soaring at the Turkish maker. "Istanbul-based Baydan Ayakkabicilik ...has received orders for 300,000 pairs of the shoes since the attack, more than four times the number his company sold each year since the model was introduced in 1999. The company plans to employ 100 more staff to meet demand, he said..."
Shoes thrown at President Bush in Iraq. As America prepares to give him the boot, President Bush was forced to do some atypical sole searching during a press conference in Iraq when an Iraqi television reporter flung both shoes at him. HuffP has MSNBC video without ads and adds: "In Iraqi culture, throwing shoes at someone is a sign of contempt. Iraqis whacked a statue of Saddam Hussein with their shoes after U.S. marines toppled it to the ground after the 2003 invasion." This is a "gross insult in the Arab world." Value added video.
While you may not be the shoe hoarder some people are, you have shoes in your closet you never wear and you'd like to know what to do with them. Are they just boring? In that case you could just experiment with new ways to lace them, or find a way to make them light up when you walk into a room. Or you could draw on the shoes with markers or sharpies. You could also paint them, going with the theme of your choice: Art Nouveau, Picasso, Day of the Dead, or any of the ideas here. You could cut motifs from fabric and glue them on to your lace-ups, cover your flats with new fabric, bling up a pair of strappy shoes with glitter, or embellish your flip-flops with some yarn. Is the old upper worn out? Knit or crochet a new one. Want to get where you're going faster? Make custom roller skates, or modify your bicycle. Do your shoes hurt your feet? Put them on your face instead as a wrestling mask, or turn them into an iPod case. Your shoes could also become a birdhouse, a planter, a centrepiece, or an integral part of a coat rack, bookends or leg lamp. If you're really not up to crafting, here are 11 non-crafty ways to recycle old shoes. But what fun is that?!?
Designer Jeff Staple may have his name on Levis but he really made his name in 2005 when, in conjunction with Nike, he put a pigeon logo on 200 pairs of Nike Dunks. Today they sell for up to $3000. In June The Pigeon made a special appearance on a camera and now The Pigeon returns on 650 pairs of New Balance shoes that are released globally on Wednesday. Nike probably wont be impressed.
Whether you want to learn to lace shoes, tie shoelaces, stop shoelaces from coming undone, calculate shoelace lengths or even repair aglets, Ian's Shoelace Site has the answer!
You Walk Wrong. "It took 4 million years of evolution to perfect the human foot. But we’re wrecking it with every step we take." [Via]
Barefootin'! Ron Hunter, men's basketball coach of IUPUI, decides to raise awareness for Samaritan's Feet, a charity that collects shoes for needy children, by coaching barefoot. Initially, he hoped to collect 40,000 pairs in honor of the 40th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King Jr. - 110,000 pairs of shoes were collected by tip-off. [more inside]
How you'll wear shoes in the future... "You start with a 'bone': the made-to-measure core of the shoe that cradles your foot. You cover the bone with one of many 'skins,' the shell and sole of the shoe that creates the look everyone else sees."