ARTICLE BY Minh Vuong

Five Weird And Wonderful Sneaker Projects on Kickstarter Right Now

Rens Sneaker White Coffee

For years, entrepreneurs, design prodigies, and passionate sneaker fans have tried to bring their crazy shoe ideas to life. Some want to solve sneaker-related problems, while others wish to reduce their environmental impact. A select few are simply a couple of knots short of a bow (Google ‘Guppi’ shoes). Thanks to the advent of crowdfunding, some of these concepts actually might become successful ventures. Here are five concepts currently on Kickstarter that caught our attention, and are on the road to success!

Rens Sneaker Kicking Water
Image credit: @rensoriginal
Rens Sneaer Black On Foot
Image credit: Rens
Rens Sneaker White Coffee
Image credit: Rens

Rens: Waterproof Shoe Made From Recycled Coffee

This Finnish sneaker company is unique because they are offering a waterproof sneaker made from used coffee grounds. According to Rens, each pair uses the waste from 21 cups of coffee and six plastic bottles. Outside of the usual odour-preventing, anti-bacterial and quick-drying spiel, coffee is also resistant to UV, so colours are less prone to fading! Funding ends August 15, but the project has already been a resounding success to date.

Satoshi One Sneaker Colourways Line
Image credit: @satoshi.studio
Satoshi Studio Nfc Chip
Inside this leather tag is a tamper-proof chip with NFC technology. Image credit: @satoshi.studio

Satoshi_one: High-End Sneakers for Tech Lovers

At first glance, the Satoshi_one looks like the usual leather cupsole casual sneaker currently in vogue. A closer look at Paris-based Satoshi Studio’s Kickstarter project reveals the concept is based around blockchain, allowing each sneaker to be securely and individually traced in its lifetime, ultimately preventing counterfeiting. A label included with purchase of each pair includes a Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled chip. This chip contains unique product information, allowing digital registration that can also be transferred between owners. Finally, the shoes can be returned to Satoshi Studio to earn credit towards a new pair of Satoshi_ones. Impressively, 200 per cent of the project’s goal was funded in the first 24 hours. At time of writing, 735 per cent of the goal had been raised! You can keep funding it until August 22.

Nextllen: 4-in-1 Transformable Sneakers

As recently demonstrated by the MMW x Nike Vibram soles, modular functions are becoming popular in the sneaker industry. Vancouver-based Nextllen take this concept to the next level by designing four shoes in one: lifestyle, slipper, sandal and sport. The crucial design aspect of the Nextllen is its collapsible heel and elastic ankle band to transform the shoe. This could be a game-changer for travel, especially going through strict airport security when shoes need to be removed quickly. The people have spoken: the Nextllen is available for pre-order now.

Peak King Both Colours
Image credit: PEAK Sports on Kickstarter
Peak King P4 U Material
Image credit: PEAK Sports on Kickstarter

PEAK King: Clouds On Your Feet

Chinese company PEAK have quietly carved out a name for themselves since 1989, focusing mostly on basketball shoes. But even a company big enough to sponsor national teams needs a bit of financial help sometimes. The King is PEAK’s next big thing, utilising a new adaptive material called P4U. Apparently, it’s super pliable when static, but as soon as pressure (i.e. your weight) is applied against it, the P4U molecules bond and tense up for an elastic effect. Anyone who backs HK $3000 (equivalent to about $385 USD) will receive a pair of Kings signed by a choice between stars including, but not limited to, Lou Williams, Tony Parker and Matthew Dellavedova! PEAK are really ramping up their presence too, setting up shop recently at Sneaker Con Shanghai to demo P4U tech. Funding ends October 4. PEAK claims every single backer of the King will receive a sample of P4U.

Zpurs Clipping Shoes
Image credit: Zpurs
Zpurs Product Shot Front Angle
Image credit: Zpurs
Zpurs Clipped Attached To Bag
Image credit: Zpurs

Zpurs: The Hanger For Keeping Your Shoes Organised

This accessory could be a solution for those who like to carry a spare pair of sneakers with them (emergencies happen, you know) but don’t have any room left inside their bag. Essentially a clipping mechanism attached to a carabiner, Zpurs are easily installed onto shoes then fitted to bags or even belt loops. The Zpurs come with soft inserts to adjust the fit of the clip and not clamp the shoe’s lining too tightly. Founded by UK-based designer and cyclist Alistair Taverner, he first developed NeatCleats for carrying cycling shoes before seeing the gap in the market. Now those who need to bring a second pair of shoes with them may be able to with Zpurs. Imagine the new ways to flex at sneaker events and campouts by carrying extra sneakers around belt loops. You’ve got until August 22 to back Zpurs.

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