Children around the world suffer a lack of access to proper footwear to protect them. There are over 300 million children without shoes in the world. They face many extra challenges, including not being able to attend school, contracting illnesses, and experiencing common injuries and pains. While many shoes are donated to children every year, they can be quickly outgrown.
But what if there was a simple and durable shoe, and when the child outgrows their pair, they simply adjust the same shoe to a larger size?
In addition to meeting this requirement for my shoe, I also had to consider all the important aspects of what makes a good shoe. I found that many actual shoe soles are made out of commonly available plastics. One of the popular materials that make soles is TPU plastic. This is super convenient because TPU is actually a common plastic used for 3D printing, something we have access to at school. The key to this shoe is creating something as is easy to manufacture so it can actually be reproducible. Naturally, the most effective way to create a shoe that grows is by making sandal that expands. In my case, the shoe expands in seven places which are located in my sketch above. Creating the upper of this sandal are nylon straps that connect with strips of velcro. These straps are fastened to the sole and they all meet at another 3D-printed component that I call the hub, which allows for the nylon straps to change lengths. The shoe is pretty simple which means reliable, it is a custom sandal that is 3D printed and designed with some additional places for adjustment.