How to fold the perfect shoe
New York Times bestselling author Chris Pizzello and his co-author, Tom Pizzelli, both of the University of California, Berkeley, have been trying to make folding sneakers ever since they learned of a company called Foldible Shoes.
For $39.99, Foldible sells a shoe that can fold down from the front of the shoe, like a pair of flip flops, for up to two feet.
But Pizzellos invention is different.
It’s not just about folding.
“When we started to talk about folding, we just kind of wanted to build something that people would actually want to use,” Pizzella says.
“But we’ve seen it a lot in our life, so we figured that would be kind of a big deal.”
He says that’s why the two came up with the idea of folding shoes.
It was a big surprise to both of them.
“I didn’t think I would be able to fold a shoe for two feet,” Pizellos says.
And then the idea came up of folding sneakers for two more feet.
“So we just went, ‘We can’t make this shoe for less than two feet!'”
Pizzells first prototype, called the Tear, folds for up 30 feet.
The pair is a perfect fit, because the heel is a little bit lower than the toe, which allows it to be folded down from one side of the sneaker to the other.
The toe is a tad higher, so it’s easy to reach with the fingers.
“It’s like a little backpack,” Pazellos explains.
But when it comes to folding, you have to be careful.
“We don’t want to be using the shoe to put something in it that’s too large or too small,” Ponzellos admits.
“And it’s really important that the shoe doesn’t have too much pressure on the heel of the foot.
And that the heel isn’t so close to the heel that it’s touching it.”
That’s why they built a prototype with an extra pocket in the heel for the strap that holds the shoe together.
Pizzeller says that he and Pizzilla designed a prototype for folding a pair that would fit into a small suitcase.
“The one we built is the biggest of the three we had to make,” Pazzellos recalls.
“Now it’s actually two of the biggest.”
So far, the Tearing has made it to the prototype stage.
“They have been making great progress,” Puzellos exclaims.
But they’re still working on the final version of the shoes, which will be a little bigger and have a wider sole.
Pizelli says they are aiming for the second version, which would have a much wider sole to accommodate the extra pocket.
And it’s just as likely that the pair will hit stores soon.
“For two feet, we want to make it so the shoe has the right amount of heel pressure,” Piazellos adds.
“If you’re a big heel, the shoe should have enough heel pressure to keep the shoe from slipping off your foot.”
They’ve already had feedback from customers about how comfortable the shoes are to wear.
Pazelli says that even though they are a little taller than most sneakers, they are comfortable enough for walking around in.
“A lot of people have said, ‘I want to buy these shoes,’ ” Pizzelle says.
That’s where Pizzel’s company comes in.
PIZELI: So what makes this product special?
PIZELLI: It’s actually about being flexible, and the way you bend the shoe is just like a spring, but with the flexibility of elastic.
“There’s a whole spectrum of how to fold your shoes,” PIZellis says.
One way they do it is by adding extra material.
“With the spring in the shoe and the elastic around the heel, you’re just adding more material to the shoe,” he says.
This way, you can make the shoe more comfortable to wear by using less material, and by keeping the shoe in place when you’re not using it.
“Our goal is to just do the best we can, and just fold our shoes, and they will keep your feet warm,” Pizza says.
They also use a unique technology to keep things in place.
“You just pull it out, and you’re done,” Pitzelli says.
Pizza’s company is called Luggage.
It sells a bunch of other shoe companies that include Nike, Reebok, and Adidas, but Pizella says that Luggage is his company’s “true one-stop shop.”
It’s a company that can customize any product to fit the needs of any person, including the people who might not be able or willing to wear shoes for a long time.
Pitzelli says he has to do all of the work to get the product to people.
“Because people are