Cryptide One sneaker Credits: Cryptide
The Global Footwear Awards (GFA) has named luxury lifestyle sneaker brand The Cryptide led by designer Stephen Henrich as its 2023 Footwear Brand of the Year.
For the fourth edition of the footwear awards, the GFA placed a focus on technology and sustainability, praising The Cryptide’s on-demand manufacturing approach and its signature ‘Cryptide One’ shoe that is entirely 3D printed from a single flexible material that facilitates easier recycling.
The upper part of the shoe has been designed like a perforated sock for optimal ventilation and can be shaped based on a 3D scan of the wearer's foot, while the distinctive sole design is segmented for the toe, ball, and heel areas, and the midsole features a branching structure tailored to the wearer's weight through FEA and topology optimisation.
The Independent Footwear Designer of the Year title was awarded to Constantinos Panayiotou, founder and creative director of Pet Liger for his ‘Vertex Love’ creation that merges footwear with art.
Global Footwear Awards names 2023 winners
While the Emerging Footwear Designer of the Year award was won by Savannah College of Art and Design student Madeline Helt for her reimagined climbing boots integrating technology to retain heat. Helt collaborated with colleagues Jack Winkler (3D printing) and Emily Lacomba (sock design) on the design, which features structural patterns strategically repeated to create a new textile for the outdoor space. The sole concept focuses on customisability and sustainability, allowing users to swap or change the sole after wear.
Winners receiving ‘The Best Overall Design’ included the Base Camp Mul’ by The North Face, 2023 Asics FireBlast basketball shoe concept by Jake Lin, Stealth Formations by Jóse Monroy, and Puma’s NFRNO by Hyon Park. Other winners included Bottega Veneta Sardine boot Concept by Anna Boutashkova, Concept Nike ‘Conqueror’ by Marc Van Tichelen, Skechers by Jeffrey Hernandez, Fila Wings by Martin Chapuy, Joma | Evolution Cup 23 by Piotrek J. Pérez, Adidas XPLD Football Cleat Design by James Bleakley, Astro Heel by Noriyuki Misawa, Jordan 3 2021 by James Howe and Footwear for Barefoot by Bao Qiancheng.
Commenting on this year’s awards, Astrid Hebert, GFA programme director, said in a statement: "I'm thrilled to see so many of this year's GFA winners embracing sustainability and technology in their designs, offering us a glimpse into the future of eco-friendly footwear. It's inspiring to witness the perfect blend of style and innovation.
“These designers aren't just making shoes; they're crafting a narrative of mindful steps towards a more sustainable and tech-driven future.”