Friday, June 13, 2014

The Weirdest Shoes on the Planet

No, I did not raid Lady Gaga's wardrobe, even though she's effortlessly rocked some of the shoes I listed. I came across a pair of shoes that I wouldn't be caught dead wearing and decided to share my research. These are 11 of the most unusual shoes in the whole world, and surprisingly (or not) most of them costs fortunes! Beauty is the eye of the beholder, so I'll let you be the judge, here we go.

The Chopine

Chopine shoes images

A chopine is a type of women's platform shoe that was popular in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. Chopines were originally used as a patten, clog, or overshoe to protect the shoes and dress from mud and street soil.

image Chopine shoes

Chopines were popularly worn in Venice by both courtesans and patrician women from ca. 1400-1700. Besides their practical uses, the height of the chopine became a symbolic reference to the cultural and social standing of the wearer; the higher the chopine, the higher the status of the wearer. High chopines allowed a woman to literally and figuratively tower over others.

The Hoof Shoes

iris schieferstein hoof

Iris Schieferstein creates shoes out of horse hooves, doves and snakes etc. The shoes have become quite controversial over the last couple of years, but supposedly they have support from the crazy queen of extreme: Lady Gaga!

According to the Daily Mail, the designer, who has been doing this for 12 years, thinks combining fashion and taxidermy makes perfect sense:

“I love horses and I love shoes so I thought this would be perfect. Horses have a beautiful walk and I wanted to recreate that with my footwear.”

schieferstein shoes

Schieferstein’s shoes go for about $5,500 (or 3,900 euros) but can only be worn a couple of hours at a time, because, surprisingly, wearing a horse’s hoof can be a little uncomfortable.

The Acne Gemini Shoes

Acne Gemini Shoes
They cost £570
Why settle for one heel on your shoes when you can have two? And yes, we know the image above shows three heels, but the shoes actually only come with two: the middle heel, which is the one you walk on, and another, detachable heel, which can be attached in either of the other two positions shown.

Acne Gemini shoes

So, what do you think? Have you been secretly wishing designers would ditch the boring old “one heel per shoe” strategy they’ve worked with all these long years, or do you think these just look like mutants?

The Melonia shoes

The shoes were the first 3D-printed couture shoes in the world and comes from the ecologic concept of no material waste. They are products for an industrial ecology. Due to the homogeneous material they are easier to recycle and create a closed loop. 

A new vision for the shoe production is to be able to go to a shop where you can scan your foot, and print your own shoes. The shoes are a part of Naim’s Collection Melonia- a futuristic collection that visualises an ideal society.

The Armadillo Shoes 


The Armadillo were revealed during McQueen's SS 10 show, "The Plato's Atlantis Collection", as a part of the looks of mutant creatures who embodied the mood of the collection. An mix of alien ballerinas and a surrealistic sculpture, with heels higher than 12 inches.

These shoes were obviously created to capture attention and make people talk. 

The Kabkabs Shoes

Kabkabs (the word is alliterative and refers to the clopping sounds the shoes make) elevated an Ottoman lady's feet above the wet and heated bathhouse floor, but the exaggerated height was no more effective in this than the lower ones. These sandals restricted movement and shortened a lady's step, and they came to indicate a lady of leisure, wealthy and unhurried. 

The Chinese platform shoes for women displayed here were worn by Manchu ladies and were designed to imitate the mincing step of ladies with bound feet. Exaggerated height in shoes reached a pinnacle with the Venetian chopine, which was popular in the seventeenth century and sometimes reached heights up to 20 inches.

The Ballet Pointe Heels

Originally a type of fetish footwear popular with BDSM. However In 2011 Christian Louboutin designed the pair shown above to be auctioned off for benefit of the English National Ballet. 

The Japanese Oiran Shoes

Oiran were courtesans in Japan. The oiran were considered a type of yūjo "woman of pleasure" or prostitute. However, they are distinguished from ordinary yūjo in that they were entertainers, and many became celebrities outside the pleasure districts. Their art and fashions often set trends and, because of this, cultural aspects of oiran traditions continue to be preserved to this day.

These shoes were most likely worn to ensure there was no confusion between geisha, maiko and oiran / tayuu. However, an amazing skill of balance must have been required to walk with these geta with their 10" platforms! One sometimes sees maiko hobbling along in okobo, but the pace must have been even more arduous in these tall geta. This particular pair is most likely Taisho period (1912-1926) or early 20thC (or maybe even older). The base is wood which has been lacquered with a straw foot plate. The 'thongs' are cotton covered in rich brocade. This thong section would have been periodically changed. This pair are not new and have been worn slightly. Dimensions: 12" x 6 1/2" x 8 3/4". An absolute must for those with a foot fetish or collection of footwear.

The Reverse Heels

The Reverse heels by Leanie van der Vyver looks painful and uneasy to wear, I might called them amazing if the woman wearing them didn’t appear to be so uncomfortable. But then don’t rely on my judgement, we’re pretty bad at handing out verdicts when it comes to fashion. Who knows, this might be the next big thing… well, maybe not.

The Heavy Metal Shoes

Heavy Metal Shoes

The Spinneret Heels and Canti Heels, were sampled using both the SLS process and 5-Axis CNC Milling, a subtractive, sculptural machine process. Spinneret Heels can be considered an offshoot from the Spider Heels and were prototyped from a solid cube of automotive-grade aluminium by a UK-based luxury concept automobile manufacturer. The digitally designed shoes were translated into instructions for a robotic drill bit to sculpt the shoes into the sensuously curvy final form. The Canti Heels were designed for the SLS process and are inspired by the cantilevered heel seen in Caged Heels.
Heavy Metal Shoes

Each design was generated using computer-modelling software in a process that resembles the construction of buildings, boats, and airplanes. Inspired by nature and popular form-finding exercises by designers and scientists during the early-mid-twentieth century, Bryan’s creative process included the design of virtual scaffolding and construction aids, which served to rationalize free-form double-curved surfaces. As the ultimate goal was to create a physical creation of the digitally designed shoes, Bryan adapted the complex forms rationalized in the computer to actual measurements of a human foot that were plugged in as guidelines in the design software.

The Mojito Shoes

Costs £174.99
Ok, maybe these shoes aren't so weird looking, they look pretty and easy to wear. The Julian Hakes Mojito is a tastefully sculptural curve mixed into a blend of simple creativity combining bright contrast leather lining that features a high heel and peep toe to make this a very comfortable and elegant shoe. 

The Mojito Shoes

The Award winning London based architect Julian Hakes released this early concept image of the design for a new ladies fashion footwear concept after working almost 2 years in development to refine every delicate sculptural curve and twist of the Mojito shoe. 

The Mojito Shoes

These are just a few of the weird looking shoes out there. I came across a lot more, but I decided to stick with these 11, otherwise I'll never finish composing this post.

So what do you think? Can wear any of these shoes? I think I can definitely rock the Mojitos and the Acne Gemini shoes! 

Pictures obtained from google images

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