Modular footwear gains traction

To many Millennials, having a lot of possessions is a burden. As members of The Optimization Generation, they’re highly strategic when choosing to own products, often seeking to buy few items but demanding to get the most from having less. To meet this growing expectation, new modular shoe brands let wearers swap out parts to obtain a larger selection from just one base pair. 


After a successful Kickstarter campaign, German brand Mime et Moi designed a shoe with interchangeable heels, so wearers can alter them from flats to heels of varying heights. By lifting a latch on the sole, wearers can release the heel and replace it. Each pair of shoes comes with two heels, and customers can purchase ones in different shapes, styles, and colors separately. The shoe is especially practical when traveling as wearers only need to bring one base and several small attachments to have styles that match each of their occasions and outfits.


To help curb waste and cater to young adults’ transient lives, Alterre launched a line of shoes that lets people change the straps and base to have 21-in-1 options. Like Mime et Moi, Alterre took to Kickstarter to fund the concept, which took three years to design. Bases, which come in a sandal, platform heel, and closed-toe vintage-inspired heel, have a button at the bottom that the straps clip into. Wearers can opt for a monthly subscription to receive discounts on lifts and straps. The creators take pride in constructing sustainable, fashionable footwear, with each part made from eco-friendly material, including heels from recycled plastic.


Shooz lets people to mix-and-match footwear, from dress shoes to sneakers, by zipping different skins onto soles. As is the case with other modular footwear brands, Shooz seeks to give people greater flexibility and convenience so that they don’t have to lug several pairs of shoes with them when going from day to night or when traveling. The company features dozens of shoe tops, from knit to leather, in a variety of colors and designs. Yet, unlike most modular shoe brands that are only aimed at women, Shooz has an abundance of styles for men.