Shoes and footwear in general have evolved considerably over the past few decades, from setting new aesthetic trends to influencing the development of materials and components. While some innovations may have gone unnoticed over the years, such as the use of sustainable materials like recycled plastics or the use of 3D printing to create ingenious shapes, few of us saw months ago that the future of shoes would be in the metaverse.
The Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto is preparing to launch its latest exhibition this week, called “Future Now: Virtual Sneakers to Cutting-Edge Kicks,” and the exhibition will explore the frontiers of footwear during the 21st century and beyond. This exhibition will examine different aesthetics, models, different materials for sustainability and automated shoes.
All of these shoes have been digitally designed by the Arc + Co Design Collective and curated by Bata director and chief curator Elizabeth Semmelhack. According to her, sneakers in recent years have been seen as more than just functional, people see them as aesthetic objects and as artistic objects.
Also, in recent years people have started collecting sneakers, something that really connects with NFTs, because they are both collectibles. You can show them off in person or in the digital world and that’s why sneaker NFTs make sense.
People have already paid for sneakers in video games, such as people paying for their character to wear Jordans in NBA 2K. Everyone in the digital world and in the metaverse wants their avatar to look cool, so sneaker NFTs make sense.
Lastly, we can see art shows that are starting to embrace the digital art style as NFTs, which have the ability to pair these designs with other assets.