Dubbed the HERON01, the slip-on sneaker continues to explore the world of 3D printing and sustainability. Thanks to it having no seams, stitching, glue, or other weak points, or being made from toxic glues and materials, the shoe can be fully recycled by Zellerfeld to create a shoe that can be turned into a new product, making for a circular product economy loop.
Zellerfeld and Preston enlisted the footwear designer Mr. Bailey who helped to shape the design direction of the shoe, who then — within his Sunday Sketches work — showcased the progressive design features that dominate the HERON01’s aesthetic. For example, the pair is decorated with printed scales and textures that can be found on the feet of the Heron bird, while the sole unit combines a bird claw design with advanced footwear production concepts, which is exactly what Mr. Bailey showcased in his sketches.
Low ankle cutouts make for a shoe that’s easy to put on and take off, while Heron Preston’s signature workwear inspirations have been filtered into the shoe via the chunky sole and threading elements that give it its unique look and feel. The result is something that look prehistoric yet futuristic at the same time — especially in the orange colorway that happens to nod to Preston’s signature color — as its upper is textured almost like rocks or the rough scaley skin of a creature from thousands of years ago.
Interestingly, the shoe came about after Heron Preston saw an early prototype of a 3D-printed shoe by Zellerfeld. From there, WhatsApp conversations led to a collaboration that “explored design ideas beyond the traditional footwear design language that is often limited and similar due to construction methods.”
Speaking on the shoe, Cornelius Schmitt, CEO, Zellerfeld, said, “Heron is a truly inspirational designer, and 3D printing will allow visionaries like him to reshape footwear for the better.” Preston added, “The HERON01 is just the beginning — with additive manufacturing, the potential is unlimited. I was able to design and print functional and evolving prototypes in hours — with traditional manufacturing, this would have taken months. I can’t wait to print more shoes and updates.”
The HERON01 will first drop on StockX via its “Campaign for a Cause,” allowing those who want a pair to enter a raffle by making a $10 USD donation. These proceeds will go towards Global March, a charity fighting child labor in supply chains. From there, winners can choose their standard size and use an iPhone to scan their feet to create a pair of HERON01’s that perfectly fit, at no additional cost or production time. Winners will also be entered into Zellerfeld’s Beta Program, allowing wearers to trade in worn shoes for reprinted and updated newer versions after this beta release.
Elsewhere in the footwear world, check out HYPEBEAST’s latest issue of Sole Mates. This time around, we speak with Mike Packer about his love for the Nike Air Trainer 1.