The Latest Shoe Innovations Transforming Footwear

The Latest Shoe Innovations Transforming Footwear

Did you know that we have been wearing shoes for more than 40,000 years?

Shoes have changed a lot during those many millennia, and continue to do so to this day.

There are plenty of current shoe innovations that are changing footwear as we know it. Some of them you may have seen but many you may not know about.

Read on as we look at some of the latest innovations in the footwear industry.


Back to the Future Part II was released in 1989, but set in 2015. It made a lot of predictions about the technology that we’d be using in the future…which is now our past…wow, this is heavy!

Some of the predictions were a little wide of the mark. We still don’t have hoverboards that float off the ground, or get fired via our in-wall fax machines. And we certainly don’t have self-lacing shoes. Or do we??

It turns out that this technology has been available for the past few years, so the movie was accurately pretty accurate when it comes to footwear. Shoes such as the Nike Air Jordan 11 Adapt feature the FitAdapt self-lacing technology that allows you to lace your shoes with the push of a button or even via your phone. Great Scott!

We’ve been using shoelaces for thousands of years, so don’t expect them to completely disappear anytime soon. If you’re looking to try out this tech, however, then shop Nike and look for shoes that feature the FitAdapt tech.

Animal-Friendly Leather

We’ve been using leather in shoes for almost as long as we’ve been using leather.

However, we’ve reached the stage now where we no longer need to rely on the skins of animals for our footwear. New textile innovations can even offer shoes that are pretty much indistinguishable from leather without any animals being harmed at all.

Adidas has been developing a plant-based leather that offers all the style and comfort of leather without any of the guilt. No longer do you need to choose between your moral standpoint and stylish shoes.

Recyclable Footwear

It’s all very well wearing shoes that are made of synthetic fibers rather than animal-based products, but what happens when you dispose of those shoes? All those synthetic fibers are just going to pollute the planet, right?

Well, not necessarily. Recyclable footwear is becoming more and more common. Adidas has been making shoes using recycled plastic for several years now. The original concept show was sent out to testers, who were asked to return the shoes when they were well-worn. These shoes were then turned into plastic pellets which were used to make more shoes.

More are more businesses are understanding the importance of sustainability, so expect to see recyclable footwear becoming ever more prevalent.

Smart Shoes

People have been bigging up the idea of the Internet of Things for years. For some bizarre reason, the poster boy of the entire concept has often been the smart fridge that can tell you when your eggs are out of date or when you’re running out of milk.

Nowadays you can find smart versions of almost any product you can imagine from smart toothbrushes to smart toilets. In many cases, adding smart tech to products doesn’t really offer any benefits, but this isn’t the case with footwear.

New shoe technology includes smart tech that can offer genuine benefits and insight. There are smart shoes that can track almost every aspect of your running, from the number of steps you take to how long your feet stay in contact with the ground. For athletes, this information can be vital in helping to improve running efficiency and performance.

Even for recreational runners, smart shoes can offer a lot of useful insights and give you a host of information at the push of a button.

3D Printing

3D printing has democratized the production of plastic products meaning that people at home can create their own versions of anything from car parts to working guns.

Unsurprisingly, 3D printing is also one of the burgeoning shoe technology trends. Since many shoes are made almost entirely of plastic, footwear is something that would seem ideally suited to 3D printing.

At the moment, the technology isn’t quite mature enough for you to be able to download the files for your favorite sneakers and 3D print them at home, but it may not be too many years before that becomes reality. Brands are already creating some components of their shoes using 3D printing technology so it will be interesting to see how this develops in the future.

3D Scanning

3D printing isn’t the only 3D tech that is having a big impact on the footwear industry.

3D scanning allows you to make an accurate 3D model of your foot and use it to design a shoe that is perfectly suited to your feet. This technology is already used in the production of orthotic insoles and it isn’t a huge leap to imagine that eventually it will be the norm that you upload a 3D scan of your feet and order your own unique custom-fitted shoes.

Self-lacing technology optional, of course.

Make the Most of the Latest Shoe Innovations

There’s a simple way to make the most of some of these incredible shoe innovations; buy a new pair of shoes!

With the latest innovations, you can treat yourself and your feet to the best the footwear world has to offer. There are also other innovations that make footwear fit your needs perfectly. For example, now for kids who suffer from flat feet, there are kids insoles that make flat shoes more comfortable and supportive. The best part is at the same time you could be doing your part to help save the planet. New innovations are appearing all the time, so be sure to keep your eye out for all the latest developments.

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