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Easy on/off running shoes for people with cerebral palsy. These shoes are engineered based on the data from each person's physical ability.

Was es macht

Cerebral palsy is one of the most common diseases. Wearing shoes is a challenge for them. With Zest, people can wear it quickly and easily. In addition, it can be engineered based on the data of personal physical ability with 3D knit and 3D print technology.

Deine Inspiration

Cerebral palsy is one of the most common diseases. According to recent research, It occurs in about 3 per 1,000 live births. I happened to meet a running club for people with cerebral palsy. There was a man with cerebral palsy. He can’t control the right side of his body. He said wearing shoes is always challenge for him. I was wondering what the professional athletes think about it. I interviewed two athletes with cerebral palsy. Even for them it is hard to wear shoes. They always ask their coach to tie the shoelaces. After several interviews, I decided to make easy on/off shoes, also it can provide a function to tighten people’s own fit.

So funktioniert es

I designed a unique closure system based on feedback from people with CP. When people release the velcro, the opening becomes wider. Then people can slide their feet easily, like wearing slippers. Also, they can adjust their own fit precisely with the additional laced velcro. The upper part is made with 3D knit with a 16-gauge flat knit machine. With 3D knit technology, the pattern can be customized to each person with CP based on the 3D scanned data. Also, the knitted pattern is made of TPU yarn so that it can be used in lightweight and ventilated structures compared with ordinary knitted fabric made of polyamide or polyester. The sole part is made with 3D printing technology and engineered with a generative design tool based on the test result from people with CP. Most of them have different physical abilities. With the generative design tool, people with CP can get their unique sole that meets specific requirements following their physical ability.


The prototypes have been developed based on wear tests and feedback from professional athletes and amateur runners with CP. Also, I can get advice during development from several experts in the footwear industry including the Lead developer of the innovation department in Swiss sportswear company On. To explore the possibilities for customized knit uppers, I created a last based on 3d scanned feet data of a person with CP. To develop an engineered knit upper, I collaborated with several knit factories in Switzerland and Netherland. Finally, I developed an innovative knit with TPU yarns that are lighter and more durable than conventional knit made of polyamide and polyester. With the support of On, I did several tests with the final prototype in On lab, such as pressure tests, impact tests, and slow-motion video tests. In comparison tests with one of the most stable shoes they have, Zest also showed remarkable performance. The sole is engineered based on the data obtained from tests. With the support of Autodesk, the world-leading engineering software company, I used generative design tools that satisfy the requirements while minimizing the use of materials. The final result is an example designed according to the athlete's physical ability with CP participating in the test.

Warum es anders ist

Although CP is one of the most common diseases, there is a lack of shoes for them. Slip-on shoes are unsuitable for exercise because they do not hold the foot well. Nowadays, some football boots are laceless shoes, but applying them to shoes for CP is not a correct solution. Moreover, because the opening is much narrower than a regular shoe, it is much harder for them to wear. Zest provides a high level of form-fitting suitable for running while wearing it easily and quickly with a unique structure. It replaces traditional shoelaces while still allowing for fine-grained fit adjustments. Additionally, professional disabled athletes who require a high level of performance might need custom footwear. With 3D knit and 3D print technology, Zest can be individually customized according to their physical abilities. Although it is a shoe for the disabled, in terms of design and aesthetics, it was important to emphasize functionality as with any other performance shoe.

Pläne für die Zukunft

Athletes with CP who have been tested are looking forward to launching the product. In addition, experts in the sports industry who were requested feedback on this project have expressed interest in the potential of Zest. They said this design could be applied to other shoe categories, such as shoes for older people. Swiss 3d printer manufacturer Sintratec is one of them. Now we've discussed producing additional samples for further development. This project is recommended to apply for the Open Call for Projects 2023, held by the Embassy of Switzerland in the Republic of Korea.


This is the first contest for this design to be presented. But I have been awarded several relevant awards related to projects for people with disabilities, including Core 77 Design Award(2022), make me! Design Contest(2022), International Busan Design Award(2022).

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