Our surveys have shown that 55% of women own 4 or more pairs of shoes where the only difference is color. Surely there must be other people out there who have thought about designing an interchangeable shoe at some point, right? People have been wanting an easy way to change the look of their shoes for generations.
THE FIRST MODULAR SHOE PATENT
The very first shoe patent that allowed the user to change the top half of their shoe, was published in 1938. Patent US2200080A was filed by Fein Jacob in 1938, though it was later updated in 1940. Jacob’s design allowed the top half of their shoe to be completely removed from the bottom using zippers! Jacob’s plan allowed most uppers to be completely replaced with a single zipper, but for heels and shoes that had openings, he required that 4 different zippers be used at each of the connection points. This patent expired in 1957, but in the 80 years following its publishing it has been cited by 48 new designs!
DIFFERENT FASTENING MECHANISMS
Since Jacob’s original design, there have been dozens of other people coming up with their own ways to make shoes modular. While there has been a large variety of fastening mechanisms invented for this purpose, the most common methods we’ve seen are zippers, slides, snaps, and clip-on.
Much like the original patent, there are several examples as recent as 2016 that still choose to use zippers. This fastening method allows for a firm connection, but has the downside of having the zipper hanging off of the shoe afterwards so that it can be disconnected.
This style of fastening involves sliding the uppers into place using a track, and then locking them into place. From what we have seen, this fastening method is likely the easiest to lock into place. However, shoes that utilize this method are limited to open toe styles which is not ideal for cooler weather. This convenience should be available year-round, not just in the warm weather!
Making the upper detachable using snaps is by far the most common use to make a shoe interchangeable. Much like a snap on a purse, this method allows the upper to easily be snapped into place and maintains a fairly sturdy connection. The snap makes it so that the upper is secure when walking, but quickly removable to change color or styles
The clip-on method allows the user to insert a teeth-like prong from the uppers into the base, locking it in place. Functionally, this method behaves very similar to snaps but is more appealing because the fastening mechanism is hidden.
WHAT MAKES STELONA SHOES DIFFERENT?
Our shoe allows a firm hold fully around the base, creating one shoe not limited to a season. Many of the previous fastening mechanisms are only along the side limiting the styles to open toe. The initial inspiration for this concept was creating a shoe to be worn in every season. Our custom fastening mechanism is engineered for maximum strength in an aesthetically pleasing way. Stelona's unique design hides the fastening mechanisms so that it looks like a normal shoe.
Did we use one of the fastening mechanisms listed? Did we combine a couple of methods? Did we come up with a whole new way?! We cannot wait to show you!