A ‘Feminist’ Stiletto *Is* Rocket Science


Heels are power. Heels are ambition. Heels lift women up to teetering heights — though, oftentimes, the comfort roadblocks can also hold us back. But times, they are a changin'.

A new shoe-design firm is bringing rocket-science engineering to the stiletto. Which begs the question: Can heels constructed for comfort actually change centuries' worth of cultural imprint?

The team behind the shoe includes a rocket scientist, an astronaut, a mechanical engineer, an orthopedic surgeon and a fashion technologist. Together, the team, led by Thesis Couture founder and CEO Dolly Singh, has taken on the fight against Louboutin logic: that fashion and femininity come with literal pain points.

According to a recent Atlantic article, Thesis' broad goal is to “fundamentally change the footwear industry and fundamentally raise the bar on how you make a good pair of shoes." Thesis is banking on the notion that the reimagined technology of the heel could change the politics of the heel. And by putting together a diverse team of tech and fashion experts, Singh hopes to attack the problem in an unprecedented way.

When the team examined a conventional pair high heels, they discovered a "very thin metal plate" that provided no structure for a foot.

"It doesn't take an engineer or rocket scientist or astronaut to figure out that you can probably do better than this. And so what we're doing is using an advanced polymer, which is sort of a ballistic-grade plastic and that is precision formed," Singh explained. By creating more surface area, they were able to balance out how the "load" distributes.

Coming off the heels (pun intended) of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute latest exhibit Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology and given the recent attention on tech in the fashion industry, Thesis' rocket-science stiletto may come off as no surprise, as the intersection of fashion and tech is becoming a larger and more talked-about space in style circles.

Sure, wearable technology has enjoyed a recent boom, but these shoes transcend the artistry and innovation at play. They stand poised to re-write societal symbolism, if heels can finally be made walkable — legit, “going out into the world and getting stuff done" walkable.

Perhaps taking a “walk in her shoes" just got an entirely new meaning.