Variations on normal by Dominic Wilcox

Day 14: Hill Walking Shoes
September 16, 2010, 12:37 am
Filed under: Drawings

There are a couple of ideas I’ve had in the past that I wanted to try out to see if they work. This one is about making it easier to walk up hills. I attach a angled block onto my shoes so that my foot can remain horizontal as I climb the hill.


I found a piece of wood in a skip and cut it up. I drilled some holes in the side and fed some shoe laces through it that would be used to fasten the blocks to my shoes.

hill shoes

Hill Shoes

I found a little hill, there are very few hills in London so this had to do

Got my hill blocks out.

Strapped them on.

The test revealed that I shouldn’t have used laces as they kept coming loose. The foot did keep quite horizontal but it was still a bit awkward, though this may have been down to the feeble lace attachment. I ran out of time to fix it so it felt a bit of a failure. Which as I say in my project description, I embrace and learn from.

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14 Comments so far
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What if you laced them through the laceholes on your shoes?

Comment by Rachel

Hey Dominic,

You real life hill climbing shoes are different to your drawings.

In the drawing you had the flat side against your shoe and the angled side the other way, if you know what i mean

Comment by sahinmeyer

hmm do you mean if i was going down hill? there are two ways.

Comment by Dominic (admin)

no no, have a look at your drawings and maybe draw the real version to compare. I don’t know how to explain it without me drawing it for you hahah

Comment by Linda

But for that to happen (flat side on foot/angled side on street) he would need the precise street angle, right? And one show per angle/street.

Comment by Silvia

Correct, though some street share angles. I should plot angle groups on google maps or something to make it more convenient.

Comment by Dominic (admin)

haha totally saw this coming when reading the title.

Comment by Mouserz

I was thinking about bread slippers. Cozy and crusty.

I see what the above commenter was saying about the sketch. The right angle is adjacent to the foot. This is different than your realized version but it does solve one thing: it’s a London hill-maker.

Comment by Gary Barwin

love your website. “make stuff” should be a worldwide motto!
vis-a-vis the built-up shoe: most women are already well aware of this effect on hills. not so good going down.

Comment by cherry

These are reversible

Comment by Dominic (admin)

Hey, welcome to the world of wearing high heels! makes it easier to walk UP hills, but if you are wearing v high heels, sometimes it’s necessary to walk backwards down a steep slope.

Comment by Altissima

Yes thats why these are reversible unlike high heals. They also come in different angles.

Comment by Dominic (admin)

I like this idea! I work at Pepperdine University, Malibu. At this campus everything requires either climbing hills or climbing stairs!
Having shoes with wedges that are removable might be an awesome $$$ making opportunity, once all the kinks have been worked out!!
My first instinctive thought was, a bicycle pedal strap…hmmm, for me it may take some more research.
Awesome idea!!

Comment by Nantzi

This type of wedge would only work well against hills within a range of slopes. What about putting some springs under the wedges (or do away with the wedges all together) so your gravity would take care of it? Love the idea though!

Comment by kat

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