From crazy cushioning to ludicrously lightweight fabrics, the science of running shoes has evolved well beyond pockets of air. Soon, runners looking for that elusive perfect fit could step into a pair of shoes made from a synthetic bio-material that would envelope their foot like a second skin. Reacting to pressure, impact and movement, the shoes would puff to provide extra cushion when needed and even repair themselves overnight.
Developed by London designer and researcher Shamees Aden, the self-healing concept shoes would be 3-D printed from material using protocell technology. Though individually not alive, protocells are basic molecules that can be mixed together to create living organisms. By combining these molecules, scientists are trying to generate artificial living systems that can be programmed to respond to light, pressure and heat.
Post-run, the bio shoes would be placed in a jar filled with protocell liquid to keep the organisms healthy. Maintaining the shoes would be like caring for a plant, making sure it has the correct natural resources to rejuvinate the cells. As of now, the shoes are just a concept, but come 2050, they could be on store shelves. Watch this space.