Ica and Kostika’s new 3D printed shoe collection doesn’t exactly look comfortable. Gorgeous, yes, and unique, but the word wearable doesn’t exactly spring to mind. The shoes’ appearance may be deceptive, however, because like many other, simpler 3D printed shoes, they’re designed to perfectly conform to the shape of each individual wearer’s foot. The design team introduced its first 3D printed shoe, the Mycelium shoe, last year, and has now followed up with a full collection called the Exobiology Collection, featuring several other models that are just as strange and fascinating as the Mycelium.
“This collection is a celebration of the natural systems that create beautiful intricacies and how we can go beyond nature to create a form engineered to our desires, something otherworldly,” said designer Ica Paru.
The Exobiology Collection features designs such as the Seahorse, which is inspired by, obviously, the structure of a seahorse. The shoe’s curving, arching form envelops the foot and tapers into a tail-like heel, and is available in a variety of colors and hand-painted finishes.
The Spine shoe resembles a spinal column, and vaguely brings to mind the Iron Throne from Game of Thrones, but is hopefully more comfortable. The spines curve over the toes to keep the shoes from falling off. The Spine shoe comes in silver, white or black chrome.
The Coral shoe is also self-explanatory in terms of experience, and it’s truly marvelous to look at, resembling silvery coral. There are three different versions of the Coral shoe, all featuring delicate branches that wrap around the foot.
Finally, there is the Mycelium shoe, which is now available in three different versions: the original shark fin-shaped wedge; a more traditional heel; and a truly terrifying-looking heel-less version that has the wearer teetering in midair.
There’s no denying that the shoes in this collection are beautiful, and some of them even look like they could be relatively comfortable and wearable, with the exception of the heel-less Mycelium death trap. Interestingly, the process for ordering these shoes is similar to that of much less threatening shoes and insoles like those from Wiivv, for example: the customer downloads an app and takes a series of pictures of their feet, and the company uses those pictures to map the feet and shape the interior of the shoes for a perfect custom fit. The shoes are then 3D printed and finished using automotive-grade technology, so you can be confident they’ll hold up for a while, just in case you want to use them as your regular walking shoes.
Ica and Kostika produces its shoes in small production runs, and is currently taking only limited requests to produce the shoes from the Exobiology collection. Only five pairs were produced of the original Mycelium shoe. Prices are available upon request. So while a sighting of an Exobiology shoe in the wild may be a rare occurrence, it’s certainly fascinating to look at them in pictures, and to marvel at the technology that was used to create them.
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