A low cost shoe cover built to traverse through urban blizzards


Americans  injured from slipping  on ice during the winter (2016 National Center of Injury Prevention and Control)


 annually in hospital bills , physical, therapy and medication in the US


 Hospitalized  from slipping on ice in 2016

slipping on ice.jpg


In large cities,  snow and black ice  lead to people falling. Most people in urban cities only own a few shoes.  Boots are expensive  and are only used during snowy seasons.  How might we equip our existing shoes for the urban blizzard?


What's Out There?

 Looking for existing solutions and what they were lacking.  Overboots gave  upper protection  and sole wraps helped with  traction.  There was  no solution for both protection  of the shoe and increase of traction.


Get the Slip

Scenario Search

Exploring scenarios that are  unique in urban blizzards.  Finding the  opportunities  for  improvement in safety  that would be appropriate for these scenarios.


Get the Slip

Choosing to design for the unique scenario slipping on   black ice  because it being the  most common cause  for injury in snowy situations

How might we walk on black ice with our existing shoes?


Flex points

Finding the heel, toe joints, and anterior  side of the foot to be  weak points  that would require extra security in a shoe


First Steps

Exploring how to make a  shoe fit in another shoe within.  I also had to keep the materials  low cost  while keeping the user’s feet warm and dry.

Tight Details

Deciding keep a sleek minimal boot so the user would want to  wear the boot more  often. Less pieces also create  less weak points.  Keeping fastening minimal so the user stays  stable but not struggle to put on the overshoe. 


Too loose

neon color bars for visibility


Single piece upper to reduce cost and maximizing durability


Pull chord to tighten midfoot and ankle

Single strap to tighten midfoot and heel


Quick release buckle with whistle to lock in heel


Neste RE

Choosing to make the upper out of Neste RE for a polypropylene weave and rope laces because the recycled plastic will serve as a more sustainable source than virgin plastic.  Neste RE provides up to  60% reduced carbon footprint  while also making the upper entirely recyclable.  After long term use of their plastics in  IKEA tote bags, the materials have proved to be proficient be  waterproof and warm. 

Locks onto ankles and shins

Tightens on back and front

Learning Blender, Rhino and Grasshopper to  create a traction pattern  that can break through thin black ice as well as be  co-molded  onto the sole.


Co-molded metal studs to break into black ice

Grooves to allow water to flow out and for flexible grip

midsection cut out to reduce material and provide flexibility

Injection molded rubber with

Zero heel to toe drop to provide maximum underfoot feel

Single piece Neste RE polypropylene weave upper for warmth and dryness held together by a zig zag stitch as the the only weakpoint

Wide opening for ease of entry and room to tighten on ankles

Adjustable heel cup lock with emergency whistle