Imagine having to choose between your basic mobility and style every time you shop. 100% of people with Friedrichs Ataxia will struggle with everyday mobility as their disease progresses. Caroline, a 28 year old woman with Friedrichs Ataxia, approached DFA and challenged us to create comfortable footwear that she could wear to work or out with friends. Being fashionable was important to her, and we wanted to make sure she still had the option to wear stylish shoes despite her challenges with Friedrichs Ataxia. We are in the process of creating a formal oxford that has a sole uniquely fitted for Caroline and provides overall comfort.
We have gone through an initial round of prototyping with existing soles and uppers, and are currently working on designing and shaping unique sole prototypes constructed out of neoprene. We are also starting the search for a manufacturer, preferably local. Our overall focus is: how can we design a shoe that both provides the optimal comfort for Caroline and is wearable in formal scenarios. Our goal is to bring stylish options to the practically optionless market for people like Caroline.
Alex Lohmann, Keiyu Sakurai, Nick Mason, India De Maio, Ren Long,
Megan Quinlin, Haylee Martinko