The Bowery has a trendy new footwear store, where for $125 you can get completely customized… orthotics. SOLS, a startup that uses photography and 3D printing to make completely custom (and not-ugly) insoles, has opened a pop-up shop at 355A Bowery.
The inserts are made from a Nylon 11 base, which is a NASA-grade plastic that redirects energy rather than absorbing it, and finished in either Merino wool, leather, or neoprene, in a variety of colors. With the help of your weight, height, age, activity level, foot measurement, and six photographs, SOLS shapes the final product using “deep learning algorithms and computer vision techniques” (whatever that means).
SOLS, founded just over a year ago by Kegan Schouwenburg, started out by selling through chiropractors, podiatrists, and physical therapists — now they’re going direct to the consumer. Typical orthotics are made from a plaster cast and take up to four weeks to manufacture; theirs take 10 minutes to photograph and eight days to ship (they’re printed off-site in Austin, Texas, and finished at a workshop in Manhattan).To kick off the week they host Martini Mondays from 5pm to 7pm. They’ve also partnered with Priv, an on-demand beauty and wellness app, to offer pedicures and foot massages on Tuesdays from 4pm to 7 pm.
A look at the SOLS website will give you a sense of who’s being targeted by the pop-up, much runs through May 31: its white and minimalist interior with the insoles displayed alongside J.Crew shoes, trendy necklaces, and small dumbbells feels very young and hip. They’re clearly trying to break the geriatric image associated with orthotics and, who knows, they might just succeed. Having a pair sure would make a whole night out at Good Room a lot easier.
Correction: The original version of this post was revised to correct the spelling of the founder of SOLS.