In pictures: Sports Direct predicts “trainers of the future” in AI campaign

Sports Direct has partnered with applied futurist, Tom Cheesewright, to predict how human feet will change over the next 100 years and design perfect trainers for them in the “Feet of the Future” AI campaign.

According to the findings, humans will have longer toes, as running becomes much more common, and soft soles since spending less time in bare feet will make the tough skin protecting the soles thin.

Humans will also likely get smaller due to environmental and dietary changes, which will significantly reduce the average shoe size.

If global temperatures continue to increase, our feet will need to evolve to deal with the extra heat and keep the body cool. According to Sports Direct, shoewear will have to accommodate the super-sweaty change, with white trainers becoming common to repel heat, and super fast moisture wicking technology helping to reduce moisture from the extra sweat.

“Over the last 100,000 years we have seen changes to the size of our bodies and brains, the shape of our faces, the way we process food, and much, much more. So it’s not absurd to think that in the future we may see more changes to our bodies – including to our feet, and as a result, our footwear,” Cheesewright said.


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Using the information about the future of human feet, the sports retail giant mapped out the shoes of the future.

As such, they will likely use colour-changing electrochromic materials, which would be manually controlled via smartphone.

Future trainers could also be equipped with dynamic stabilisers. Pressure sensors in the soles of shoes would detect abnormal shifts in weight, automatically feeding signals back to onboard microcontrollers. This would prevent the wearer from tripping over.

The self-cleaning shoes would come in three layers: an inner lining that wicked moisture away from the feet, a middle layer that carried water through tiny tubes, and an outer layer made from a fabric woven from superhydrophobic threads to stop your shoes from actually becoming wet. To start the cleaning process, the user has to simply press part of the sole to a tap.

Finally, mixed reality shoes would have electro-active materials in the inner sole that change shape in response to signals from VR glasses, creating a truly immersive experience. This technology creates texture under the feet that matches what the player is seeing and hearing.

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