It is the year 2021, and yes, we still need life hacks to make our shoes fit. And one very ingenious method is to use the science of phase transitions, specifically in this case, water to ice. But how does that work?

We are sending robots to Mars, yet shoe fit is still a problem. If you search the internet, there are many solutions and life hacks to make a shoe fit, from tying laces in a certain way to using hairdryers and thick socks. But the hack that caught my eye was the ingenious ice trick.

If you have a shoe that you like but doesn’t quite fit, take a zip lock bag, pop it into your shoe, pour in some water, and then put it in the freezer. Wait 24 hours, and hey presto! An enlarged shoe. The water will expand as it freezes, up to 10% apparently, and the extreme force of this phase transition will enlarge the shoe. Take a look for yourself here.

 

 

The expanding ice idea is a very creative solution to the shoe fit problem, but it is frustrating that we still have to develop/devise life hacks to make shoes fit. Technology has provided nearly all the tools needed to make custom-fit a reality. There are knitting machines that can make one-off pieces within minutes, 3D scanning to capture your size at home, and 3D printing for custom-sized midsoles… or maybe not. Custom 3D shoe parts seem to be the missing piece to the puzzle; what happened to the Carbon + Adidas partnership for a custom fit? Fyous is hoping to change this with Polymorphic moulding, a rapidly reconfigurable production technology that will enable affordable custom made parts.

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