KidSuper wants to put men back on top. And by that, we mean back in heels. Alongside Zellerfeld, a 3D-printed footwear manufacturer, the brand has created “Heal Your Sole, Heel Your Sole,” a shoe that gives its wearer a boost, literally.
Sky’s the limit — Even though their construction is as futuristic as they come, the shoes are inspired by men’s formal footwear of decades past. (Although you could make a case for its resemblance to Givenchy’s TK360.) Different densities throughout the shoe give the illusion that it’s overlaid with panels, and ridges give it a knit-like texture.
KidSuper’s traditional face design molds itself to the forefoot and heel, nodding to the brand’s portrait-infused aesthetic. An elongated arch, branded with “KidSuper” underneath, then gives way to a couple of inches of heel height. Although the brand is known for its use of multi-color palettes and playful details, the shoe doesn’t stray from its all-over royal blue shade.
When describing the process, KidSuper’s founder Colm Dillane said he kept having to tell himself that anything is possible and there are no restrictions. And he isn’t far off — as 3D printing advances in its capabilities, so do the possibilities for what the shoe’s design can look like.
Heel your sole — Creating a heel as its 3D-printed shoe debut of choice is pretty on par with KidSuper’s design philosophies. The brand is as whimsical as it is streetwear, masterfully using color and flowy silhouettes throughout its gender-fluid collections. And without the traditional shoemaking process that uses glue, yarn, and other unsustainable materials, the KidSuper kicks offer a more circular approach to footwear construction.
3D printing allows for easier customizations that don't take months of adjustments to physical, expensive materials. Changes are made on computer software and the final product is printed into its 3D form. Zellerfeld even has tech that lets you scan your foot with your phone’s camera for a guaranteed fit.
“3D printing has allowed me to fully think outside the box,” said Dillane. The thought process hasn’t been possible in the shoe industry until now, he said, meaning this is just the beginning for futuristic footwear.
As of now, the “Heal Your Sole, Heel Your Sole” project is just a one-off shoe spotted on KidSuper’s Spring/Summer 2023 runway. But if Zellerfeld’s Heron Preston HERON01 sneaker and Ambush clog are any indication, they could be part of your shoe arsenal very soon. And what guy couldn’t use a few extra inches?