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These High Heels Designed For Comfort Look Like Chell’s Shoes From Portal


Designing high heels with comfort in mind rather than aesthetics may seem counterintuitive, but the results would be a blessing for anyone with a dress code that requires heels (or for short people like me who want to be able to attend networking functions without getting a neck cramp). Biomechatronics researcher Yasuyuki Yamada wanted to design a shoe that could give its wearer the height necessary without placing as much strain on the toes, foot, and ankle; the result is this spring-like pair named YaCHAIKA.

The name takes its inspiration from the callsign used by Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman to enter space in 1963; she used “chaika” as her call-sign, which means “seagull” in her native Russian. Yamada thinks the resultant design looks like a seagull spreading its wings. I think it looks more like a reversed version of Chell’s “long fall boots” from the Portal games. I doubt that these shoes will save you from a long drop like Chell’s boots would, but Yamada did test the shoes’ shock absorbency, and the curved planes do help distribute the impact while the wearer runs and jumps.

I want to buy a pair already, but unfortunately, they’re still in the testing phase. Yamada did win the James Dyson Award for student design, and will present a new and improved version of the shoe at Tokyo Design Week to gauge interest. Any super-rich fashion magnates out there want to buy Yamada’s design and distribute it for mass consumption?

(via Rocket News 24)

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Maddy Myers, journalist and arts critic, has written for the Boston Phoenix, Paste Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and tons more. She is a host on a videogame podcast called Isometric (, and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (