In a reinterpretation of classic shoe design, German design studio Wertel Oberfell’s Auxetic Wear is a 3D printed shoe that uses an auxetic structure to adapt itself to the ergonomics of its wearer’s foot. Combining traditional shoemaking with modern technology, the designers emulate techniques from classic craftsmanship to devise a design that displays a stitched and glued pattern comprised of low-profile, two-dimensional shapes.
Made of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) with a Shore hardness of 98A, the semi-flexible filament offers high tear and tensile strength, and the auxetic structure expands bi-directionally as soon as a tensile force is applied. It expands or compresses on a local level to take on each ergonomic form of the foot in each instance, enhancing comfort through a distinct design. A skeleton-like base gives the shoe its final organic form and serves as reinforcement to the auxetic structure. Photo: Wertel Oberfell.