Tag Archives: shoes

Planned obsolescence: the lifespan of running shoes

Via Tim Maly, Matt Jones of BERG is planning on doing some running, and was quite taken by the new Mayfly shoes from a large sports brand that I won’t bother namechecking. What’s interesting about the Mayflys is that, as the name suggests, they’re ephemeral. [image ganked from BERG post]

Nike Mayfly

Of course, almost all consumer goods are ephemeral; what’s interesting here is the way that their limited lifespan is not only acknowledged but embraced by the product itself:

They are so light because they were designed with a definite lifespan.

They are only built to last for 100km.

On a good day, I usually run 10km.

These shoes are shoes I can use maybe ten times.

This defined sense of the object’s limited-life reinforces it’s narrative.

The thing is a clock.

Cradle-to-grave footwear product! As interesting as the concept is, I’m glad I’m not into running; for £40 or so, I’d want a pair of shoes I could wear more than ten times.

And good grief, but they’re ugly.. :-s

Pedestrian power: prototype power-source footwear

There’s nothing worse than being halfway through a long walk around the city only to have your MP3 player run out of juice[1]. Wouldn’t it be great if you could keep it charged up just by walking?

Japanese electronics company NTT Docomo evidently thinks so, as they’ve been showing off a prototype shoe that can generate 1.2 Watts of power through the motion of their wearer.

Docomo power source shoe prototype

Spiraltwist at grinding.be neatly sums up my feelings: “Concept is excellent, design needs to be refined.” That said, Docomo reckons the finished version will be on the market by 2010, by which time there’ll be plenty more pocket-sized gimcracks to plug it into… provided they have compatible plugs and sockets, natch. [image from linked DVICE article]

While we’re on the subject of wearable tech, Gizmodo has a round-up of geeksome gadgetry that means you can have your cyberpunk future rightfreakingnow… provided you don’t mind looking like a fool. I mean, trousers with a keyboard and speakers built in? Come on… [via Hack-a-Day]

[ 1 – OK, there are plainly plenty of things worse than this, but I thought I’d go for upbeat today; it’s a Tuesday, after all. ]