Predicting the future is always a tricky business. Everyone who has seen Back to the Future will be familiar with how Marty McFly encounters a 2015 of flying cars and fax machines on every street. But, contrary to the last line of the film, we do still need roads.
There are many more cases of predictions made with variable accuracy. H.G. Wells’ novel The Shape of Things to Come predicted a second world war - but forecasted Germany wouldn’t even beat Poland. And so it goes on, with fantastical utopias, amazing technology and aliens all in the mix.
Walk to the future?
All this means that when it comes to footwear, we should be cautious about what the future will bring. Once again, the sci-fi fanatics might predict that years (or maybe centuries) from now we will all have hover-boots, or perhaps footwear that will sense danger, warn of approaching bad weather, or simply provide assisted locomotion to help people walk faster.
History might give us reason for caution; while sporting footwear has applied all kinds of technology to become lighter, more enduring and make greater use of synthetic materials, the need for everyday footwear to look stylish and the popularity of various traditional styles - from high heels to Hush Puppies - shows that there is more to the development of footwear than the appliance of science and the desire to walk in the footsteps of Buck Rogers.
Even so, we will offer the following predictions about the development of shoes in the years to come:
· Shoes will become more organic: Leather shoes will not vanish, but artificial means of producing high-quality leather (as distinct from synthetic leather) will mean that in an age when vegetarianism is becoming more fashionable, those with animal welfare concerns will not need a cow to lose its skin first.
Footwear will become more durable: As we move towards lab-grown materials, we will find ways of making them tougher and withstanding wear-and-tear. This will mean good shoes last longer.
Shoes will be more breathable: This is one innovation that may be borrowed from sportswear and outdoor clothing. By increasing breathability, we will find ways of ensuring people can wear smart shoes for longer without them becoming too hot in a world affected by global warming.
Convertible shoes: We have sofas that turn into beds, amphibious vehicles that can operate as cars or boats, so why not convertible shoes? Imagine a pair of flat ladies’ shoes that can be easily reshaped and have an attachable (and detachable) high heel added? Ladies will be able to switch easily between smart and comfortable.
These are just some of the possibilities that we think are likely developments in the years ahead.
What we are confident about
At Foot Fantastic, we are of course focused mainly on providing the best footwear now, whether for formal or more casual occasions. Our emphasis is on quality, style, fashion and durability, giving you footwear you will love and cherish for many years to come.
Indeed, there is one prediction we can make about the future that we can offer with the greatest confidence; that if you buy shoes from us in 2020, many years hence you will look back with gladness at your decision to become a Foot Fantastic customer.