Adaptive Shoes Rivet Attention in Dubai Design Week


Visitors were amazed by a pair of magic shoes on display at the Global Grad Show held in Dubai on November 13-18.

The “ADAPSHOE”, or adaptive shoes, is a footwear collection based on the healing properties of acupressure and reflexology, transforming the act of walking into an experience of everyday physical therapy. With ADAPSHOE APP, an ancillary mobile application, the user can give full play to the adaptability of the shoe.

The shoe’s silicone insole contains differently sized bubbles that correspond to the foot’s four primary points of acupressure. This pressure stimulates zones elsewhere on the user’s body, including the chest, the diaphragm, the digestive system and the pelvis. In this way, the user activates energy throughout his or her body, increasing the overall feeling of wellbeing while wearing this pair of shoes.

The ADAPSHOE was designed by a team of postgraduates at Zhejiang University, under the supervision of Dr. YAO Zheng and Dr. YING Fangtian from ZJU’s Computer-aided Product Innovation Design and Engineering Center.

“We are excited to find so many visitors interested in our shoes. We should have printed and brought more promotional materials,” said design student LIU Xin. 

During the exhibition, the team was frequently asked about the price of ADAPSHOE. “It has not yet been put into production, as we still need to improve its stability and optimize the cost as well,” said design student LIU Yizhou.

As a key event of the Dubai Design Week, the Global Grad Show exhibits the most innovative projects from the world’s leading design schools. The show comprises more than 200 projects drawn from 92 universities in 43 countries, including Stanford University, MIT, Carnegie Mellon University, Georgia Institute of Technology, National University of Singapore and Royal College of Art. Visitors are given an overview of what the world’s emerging designers are working on and a first glimpse at the technologies that will shape our future.