Foot / Shape

Now there’s an idea I wish I’d thought of: Shoes that are foot shape(d).

Inside cover of box holding recent footwear purchase

Linguistic quibble. If it was OK to use “balanced” — albeit in a form that requires the reader to fill-in missing letters — why not “shaped”? Both manglings arise from the challenges in trademarking regular words, I expect, which leads us to the next quibble.

Marketing quibble. The benefit of Foot ⁄ Shape™ is stated clearly, although “comfortably” seems to be more to the point than “naturally”. But what’s the benefit of cushioning “balanced from heel to forefoot”? Better stability? Fewer foot injuries? More-comfortable walks? Or don’t they, you know, actually know? Did they just want a second something?

Arithmetical quibble. Do these two features really add up to something? If so, why leave us hanging?

Foot / Shape™ + BAL / NCD = What Exactly?

Anyway, if designers are (now? finally?) onto foot-shaped shoes — now that we have a recognizable foot in the door — what can we expect next?

Hand / Shape™ phones, building on the success of computer-mouse design?

Human-Brain / Shape™ user interfaces on websites? On instructions? Oh, the joy.

Community / Shape™ service organizations?

But let us not reach too high. Me, I would settle for Old-Butt / Shape™ seating.


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12 Responses to Foot / Shape

  1. Tom Watson says:

    You don’t want to…trust me on this…see my feet. No matter what shape!
    I, for the life of me, don’t know what kind of foot gene I inherited. Sigh.

  2. barbara carlson says:

    I would like bus seats to be “bench-shaped”, not the buckets of today. Fat people must find the edges uncomfortable, esp. when they have to straddle two seats.

    Also, the new seats sink just where they need to support… but what do I know. I hven’t taken public transportation in 2+ years and counting.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Barbara – It rather raises the question of how/whether they test the designs against a variety of body types and ages. As to those molded seats, I know what you mean. You’re in them or out of them.

  3. I thought I liked the shoes I am wearing. Now I am worried. The gourd-shaped diagram may look like my splayed toes but definitely not like my shoes. They must be “foot shaped,” however, because my feet (affectionately and suitably called “Ducky Feet” by my spouse) fit in them. + (meaning “plus” or “and”) the diagram for “Bal-NCD” does not convey anything whatsoever pertaining to a shoe sole, inside or outside. I could guess it means cushioned, which I lack and would like. I could guess it means bendable, but that makes sense only near the front of the ball of the foot. I shall be fretting about this design problem forever. Good Luck with whatever was shipped to you in that box!

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna – Hahaha. The shoes from the box are certainly wide in the forefront (to use their terminology), as are the feet that go in them, so they’re comfortable enough. Whether they’d stand up to strong usage, I can’t say, but I’m unlikely to subject them to such.

  4. Eric J Hrycyk says:


    I am surprised that you are buying your shoes “off the shelf”. I kinda assumed you would be visiting your local cobbler and be having them custom made like Ivan.

  5. barbara carlson says:

    Until Jane Austen’s time, shoes did not have a right or left — you just broke them in.
    (Or had a body double do it for you, I’m told. Same for the rich who had their clothes broken in, too — nothing so gauche, apparently, as the “bandbox” look.)

    I wonder if, at some distant point, Queen Eliz. had her long-time body double (she does have one) do a little of this.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Barbara – Ouch! I take back all the complaints I’ve ever made about footwear!

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