I have plenty of female friends who enjoy wearing high heels for their aesthetic value, but I don't know a single one who claims they're comfortable. And I think we've all seen the woman with the spaghetti strap dress walking home from the party barefoot at the end of the night, stilettos dangling from her fingers, preferring to get sidewalk grit on her bare feet rather than enduring another minute in those shoes.
Dyson Award finalist Yasuyuki Yamada, a grad student at Japan's Science and Technology program at Keio University, reckons he can make high heels more comfortable. "in order to achieve both the style of high heels and comfortable walking without impact," Yamada writes, "I developed YaCHAIKA's heels with leaf spring plates and high-vibration damping rubber sheets."
If you're wondering about the capitalized part of the name, Yamada explains: "CHAIKA is the call sign of Valentina Tereshkova, who was the first female astronaut. I named my design in honor of her great contribution to science. It also means 'seagull' in Russian. The heel shape is inspired by the seagull's shape as it is flies, gracefully spreading its wings."
The shoes look a bit strange to my eyes, but certainly appear more comfortable than the alternative. However, who cares what I think: I am a male writing about a male-designed product intended for usage by females. So to those of you actually in the target market, what do you think of these? Would you wear them?