Designers who are bold enough to go all the way back to the drawing board on objects that most of us hardly even notice anymore are often the ones who come up with the most compelling new ideas. Take shoes, for example. London architect Julian Hakes took a completely fresh look at the very basics of shoe design one day in 2009…and suddenly, an internet phenomenon was unleashed.
Hakes realized that high heeled shoes don’t really need all of the elements they currently have. Since all of the wearer’s weight is carried on the ball of the foot and the heel, why is a full foot plate necessary? With this revelation in mind, he set out to design a shoe unlike anything the world had ever seen.
The architect began by wrapping his own foot in paper and tape and drawing various geometric designs on the paper and all around the contours of his foot. After carefully cutting the new shape off with a scalpel, Hakes was left with something that resembled a lime peel, so he dubbed his shoe design Mojito.
The experiment with the paper led Hakes to eventually producing the remarkable shoes seen here. The graceful, airy shape wraps around the foot, supporting the ball and heel and but leaving the arch tantalizingly exposed. Although discomfort has never stopped dedicated shoe lovers from wearing outrageous designs, everyone who has tried on a pair of Mojitos has called them “surprisingly comfortable.”