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YaCHAIKA

YaCHAIKA is a pair of high heels that combines both comfort and fashion. YaCHAIKA will be an essential item for women who want to exude sophistication and still maintain an active lifestyle. CHAIKA is the call sign of Valentina Tereshkova who is the first female astronaut. I named my design in honor of her great contribution to science. It also means seagull in Russia. The heel shape is inspired by the seagull’s shape as it is flies gracefully spreading its wings.

What it does

YaCHAIKA is a pair of high heels that combines both comfort and fashion. YaCHAIKA will be an essential item for women who want to exude sophistication and still maintain an active lifestyle. CHAIKA is the call sign of Valentina Tereshkova who is the first female astronaut. I named my design in honor of her great contribution to science. It also means seagull in Russia. The heel shape is inspired by the seagull’s shape as it is flies gracefully spreading its wings.


Your inspiration

High heels are commonly worn during special occasions and parties to display poise and grace among women sacrificing comfort over fashion. Natural walk is out of the picture. Likewise, a tapping sound is usually heard when using high heels which signifies that each step creates an impact directly affecting the body. Walking with such impact does not only lead to fatigue but also have risks of falling. Stress on each step, wrong leg posture and heels altogether may damage joint and tendons, or even lead to joint pain and poor posture. However, it is clear that high heels are used in day-to-day living especially among career women. Flight stewardesses, sales assistants, waiters and many other working women always wear high heels to their work. Indeed, high heels are a necessity in the current fashion. Also some of workers, for example, Air steward, waiter, Sales assistant, often wear high heels. One has to consider that in wearing high heels for fashion, risks are not only limited to health and safety matters, it might also limit the social activities of a woman. So, I began the development of YaCHAIKA as an option that allows natural and comfortable walking without foot strain while maintaining style. YaCHAIKA aims to maintain one’s active lifestyle without compromising both comfort and fashion.


How it works

Conventional heels are made of rigid bars. YaCHAIKA is produced by combining two curved leaf springs and rubber sheets with high shock absorption capabilities. At rest, it keeps the 10 cm heel height. During walking, the heel expands and contracts to about 3 cm. This allowance absorbs the shock when the heel touches the ground. Furthermore, the heel is made of thin leaf springs that produce a lighter silhouette when viewed from the side as compared with the conventional rigid bar heels representing a woman’s grace and sophistication. The next step being considered is to reduce the weight of the shoes by fabricating a leaf spring in the CFRP to achieve both a higher level of comfort and style.


Design process

First of all, I compared comfort and structure of various high heels. There was nothing designs which provide comfort, such as reducing the impact when stepping at the heel. Therefore, in order to achieve both the style of the high heels and comfortable walking without impact, I developed YaCHAIKA' s heels with leaf spring plates and high-vibration damping rubber sheets. In order to confirm the effect, a prototype was tested to several types of women. Among the opinions gathered was “my feet felt lighter and more relaxed so I can walk quickly and comfortably”. Walking motion which a step smoothly continues to the next step does not lead fatigue because energy efficiency is good. In order to compare the walking motion between with conventional high heels and with YaCHAIKA, it was conducted with real-time 3-dimensional motion capture. In case of conventional high heels, because it does not have shock absorber device, the walking motion was stopped for a moment when the heel touched the ground. This discontinuity of walking motion may cause to fatigue and eventually pain. On the other hand, in case of YaCHAIKA, by the effect of shock absorbers which spring heel bent about 3 cm, the walking motion was very smooth and continuous as like the walking motion with sports shoes. This continuous walking motion can be expected to reduce the fatigue and the burden of the tendons, joints and muscles. Incorporating the feedback obtained from the first prototype, I began to design the second prototype. Initially, the spring constant and the shape is optimized. Then the structure is revised and simplified in preparation for mass production.


How it is different


Future plans


Awards

This design is not entered in any other awards or competitions.


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