How to Create Shoes Inspired by a Comet Landing

When these shoes landed in my inbox, I knew we had to learn more about how they were made. I mean, they’re high heels that look like meteorites! So, we reached out to Studio Swine, whose work we’ve long admired, for some insight into the design and making of the Meteorite Shoes. Inspiration from a recent mission where a robot probe landed on a comet led them to check out the Natural History Museum, which houses the best meteorite collection in the world. Working with Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3, the duo set out to apply that inspiration and make a pair of shoes that looked like rocks that had fallen from space. Want to see how it’s done? Take a look at the process in this month’s Deconstruction.


We were approached by Microsoft to make a project that we have always wanted to do. It was inspired by the touchdown of the Philae lander module on Comet 67P / Churyumov–Gerasimenko by the ESA, which is something we were really excited about.


We called a geologist at the natural history museum to learn about rocks in outer space and to visit their collection, which is one of the world’s largest.



We knew we wanted to use Aluminium foam as it’s incredibly light and strong and has a great rock-like appearance. We began designing the shoe in our studio on paper and figuring out how we would combine meteorites with heels.




The museum has a lot of scans of meteorites but their scans visualize the inside of the rock as that’s what the geologists are interested in and we needed one of the outside to capture the shape on a 3d file.


Once we had the scan we could begin manipulating the rock file into a wearable shoe-like shape, the design incorporates a concealed cantilever so it didn’t require a bulky heel and could give the appearance of a large rock in zero gravity.


CNC milling aluminum foam to form the shoes.




At the leather merchants picking out the material to line the inside of the shoe.



We got a stamp made for foiling our studio name on the insole.


At the shoe makers where the soft lining is made to protect the wearer from the rough foamed metal.


Back in the studio with the CNC’d parts that will come together to make the heels. They had to be cut in parts to achieve the extreme undercuts and inside foot shape where the robotic arm couldn’t reach.



We wanted to create a photo shoot of the finished Meteorite shoes which was reminiscant of the photos of the comet from the Rosetta space station that inspired the project. The deep black space and directional cold light was created by the fashion photographer Petr Krejci.



Process photos by Vivek Vadoliya.

The finished shoes!






Photos by Petr Krejci.

Caroline Williamson is Editor-in-Chief of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.