Heelless shoe details
Thanks for your comments on my custom heelless shoes. Here are my tips for making a similar pair. Hopefully this entry will answer more of your questions.
The top part of the shoe is made of black leather. Pliability is your friend here because the material will go past your ankle making it subject to a lot of bending. Pick soft leather. You will notice that unlike the original Night Makers the leather does not extend to the platform. Unsurprisingly, shoemakers do not have a mold for this kind of shoe. The platforms had to be attached to the shoe later in the process.
The 4 inch platform is made of layers of dense, rigid foam. This makes the finished shoe lighter and absorbs the shock to the ball of the foot. Needless to say, all your weight will be on the front of the shoe. Well, almost all. For this reason I do not recommend wood. If you do use wood, you’re gonna need insoles to protect your feet from blistering. The sole is made of one piece cut from a sheet of thin but tough rubber.
Here you see the zipper that runs along the Achilles’ heel. A thin piece of fabric prevents the zipper from rubbing against skin.
Part of the appeal of this design is the seemingly impossible center of gravity of the wearer. Personally I would have liked the platform to be an inch narrower. People ask me all the time whether it is difficult to walk in these. It’s not. As long as there is support directly underneath the ball of the foot you will be able to balance on it with practice. My geta only has a one inch wide ‘tooth’ directly under the ball of the foot and I have no problems balancing on them.
Another crucial part of the design is the overall rigidity of the bottom of the shoe. Embedded in the sole is a thin metal rod. This acts as a lever and helps distribute some of the weight to the arch of the foot. Without this, the unsupported heel will tend to fall back. The last thing you wanna do while wearing this is to lean back. Trust me! The metal should extend from the heel and past the ball of the foot. Any shorter and it will dig into your foot. Ouch!
If you have any more questions feel free to post them in the comments.
[Custom heelless shoes, studded leather wrist band, Storm watch, ASOS pants]