How many pairs of sandals would you say you buy in a single summer season? For most people that number is probably at least two, assuming one pair is going to break in the most inconvenient way at the most inconvenient place.
You don’t have to completely give up on sandals once and for all, though, because a company called Wiivv is changing what it means to create comfortable, high-quality shoes at the touch of a button—literally. After an app download and just a few minutes of use, customers can order their own pair of highly customized, 3D printed sandals that are meant to last years. For the same price as many other sandals that are meant to offer more comfort or better quality, customers can have their very own pair of shoes made that are specifically designed to meet every curve and arch of their feet.
The 3D printed sandals are Wiivv’s second venture, as the company also offers 3D printed, customized insoles for regular shoes to its customers. The idea behind the company is that up until now, sandals have been mass produced with the cheapest, lowest quality plastics on the market that are designed to last only a short amount of time at a cheap price. At price points beginning around $70 for a pair of 3D printed sandals and going up for more advanced products with different straps and designs, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better deal on something custom-made.
Wiivv’s app uses digital mapping to create over 200 points throughout the arch, heel and the top of the foot to create the most precise model of each individual’s needs. The company also wanted to redesign the toe thong on their 3D printed sandals, making sure the shoes add comfort where needed and focusing on making a shoe that feels the best for each person. No two shoes are the same, not even from left to right. The unique 3D printing technology allows the data taken from a user’s smartphone to be used to create exact arches and pressure points that will fit the customer’s foot from the start—no more breaking in your new shoes!
While the 3D printed sandals don’t compete in pricing comparisons with the cheap flip flops you’re used to buying every summer, they do compare with other high-quality sandals available. The triple density supportive foam used in the footbeds of the shoes will be ultra-comfortable, while customers can also rest easy knowing they’re helping to decrease plastic waste in our landfills and oceans (because come on, those cheap flip-flops are basically single use). Customers can pre-order the 3D printed sandals on Wiivv’s website. What are you waiting for? Grab a pair before your cheap flip flops break at the beach this weekend!
Julia Sachs is a staff writer at Grit Daily. She covers tech, entrepreneurship and entertainment news and is based in Park City, Utah.