New hybrid footwear gets toe-hold in market

12-08-2015

Is it a sock or a shoe? The most accurate answer is probably a bit of both: new footwear called Skinners, developed by young law school graduate Petr Procházka. The design caught the attention of many fans and is in the middle of a successful crowdfunding campaign. The benefit of wearing the hybrid? Greater overall freedom: each pair rolls up like socks and fits in your pocket, when you want to change to cycling shoes or roller blades.

Petr Procházka, photo: archive of Petr ProcházkaPetr Procházka, photo: archive of Petr Procházka Earlier I asked Petr Procházka to tell me more.

“The idea came to me in Norway, where I was working. A friend of mine who was also working there injured his foot. As he got better, he began wearing just a pair of socks on the street. It was clear he was going to destroy his pair of expensive socks, but he didn’t mind, saying wearing just the socks provided a feeling of freedom. That got me thinking about possible alternatives: something which would be more durable but still provide that feeling, allowing you to forget you are wearing something on your feet.”

One thing is to get the idea, another is to see things through to production: was that a big leap?

“It depends. Nowadays you can find almost anything on the internet and that was my library. It helped me study the production of socks and shoes and whatever I needed.”

Basically, it looks like a sock with a hardened sole: what is the sole made from?

“It is a polymer which is very durable and water-resistant and it is double layered. Now it looks simple, but the product, and its manufacture, is quite sophisticated.”

The product is called Skinners...

Photo: archive of SkinnersPhoto: archive of Skinners “Simply because when I tried on the original it felt like putting on a ‘second skin’. It felt like my skin just got upgraded, hence, the name.”

There are other types of similar shoes which are on the market; is one advantage of your product the fact that you roll it up like a sock – it is even more portable?

“That is one advantage. But the biggest, as I see it, is that we use special technology to join together the different parts of our footwear, the sole and the upper textile. There are no glues and no seams. You can rely on it to not break – you can wear them for a long time.”

12-08-2015