Futuristic Kicks: New exhibit spotlighting innovative shoes opens in Toronto this month (PHOTOS)

May 11 2022, 9:24 pm

A new exhibit opening this month at Toronto’s Bata Shoe Museum (BSM) will give visitors an inside look at the future of footwear.

FUTURE NOW: Virtual Sneakers to Cutting-Edge Kicks, opening on Thursday, May 26, explores how innovative technologies, unique materials and fresh ideas are transforming footwear today.

According to Elizabeth Semmelhack, Director and Senior Curator of BSM, the exhibition includes many incredible new footwear designs that are promising to transform what we wear tomorrow.


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“From sneakers created to address issues related to sustainability and inclusion, to shoes that blur the line between the real world and the metaverse, this exhibition explores how forward-looking creators are helping us step into the future,” said Semmelhack in a release.

FUTURE NOW, designed by Arc + Co. Design Collective, will showcase over 50 futuristic designs from Bata Shoe Museum as well as loans from prominent collectors and inventors. Featured designers and brands that will be spotlighted include Salehe Bembury, Steven Smith, Nike ISPA, EKTO VR, and Yeezy.

Bata Shoe Museum

Nike MAG (© Bata Shoe Museum 2022)

The exhibit will be divided into four areas: innovation, sustainability, transformation and the virtual world. Highlights include the Nike MAG, self-lacing sneakers made famous in Back to the Future II, and NOVA, the first shoe to ever be created using rotation moulding.

Bata Shoe Museum

NOVA (© Bata Shoe Museum 2022)

Also on display will be the eye-catching Octopus shoe, created by Mr. Bailey for Takashi Murakami’s ComplexCon exhibition Sneakers for Breakfast.

Bata Shoe Museum

Mr. Bailey’s Octopus Shoe (¬© Bata Shoe Museum 2022)

Visitors will also be able to see Wilson Chandler 1, the metaverse’s first signature shoe created by CryptoKickers.

Bata Shoe Museum

CryptoKickers’ Wilson Chandler 1 OG NY Retro (¬© Bata Shoe Museum 2022)

BSM is releasing an accompanying book for the exhibition also titled FUTURE NOW, featuring in-depth interviews with industry-leading creatives and design teams. The museum will also be hosting a free community weekend on May 28 and 29, as well as virtual Salon Series spotlighting innovative designers during the run of the exhibit.

FUTURE NOW: Virtual Sneakers to Cutting-Edge Kicks,

When: May 26 to October 2023
Time: 10 am to 5 pm (Monday to Saturday), 12 to 5 pm (Sunday)
Where: Bata Shoe Museum – 327 Bloor Street W, Toronto
Cost: Various admission prices, purchase online

Daniel ChaiDaniel Chai

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