Sophia Ayers

Fashion Product

Fuze Running Shoes

Running, by nature, promotes health and enjoyment of the great outdoors. So, then how can something we consider healthy produce so much waste?
Video: Video Edit: Jamie Chen & Sophia Ayers

Sustainability Concept

A pair of running shoes needs replacement when it approaches 500+ miles. The average distance runner will go through a minimum of 3 pairs of shoes each year. I have been running for 10 years which means that I have purchased approximately 30 pairs of shoes.
Thus, my thesis is centered around creating running shoes with interchangeable outsoles. The upper part of the shoe is reusable and the worn outsoles can be ground up and recycled into new outsoles. My shoes are visually inspired by the urban environment of New York City and the street artwork that inspires me along my runs.
Image: Fuze modular outsole design allows for the shoe to be re-soled when the outsole has reached the end of its life. This gives more longevity to the shoe upper, while the outsole can be ground up and used to create a new outsole.
Image: The upper clicks into the outsole. See diagram below for directions.
Image: Each shoe is inspired by different street art from my runs in NYC. I created an algae- wool based biomaterial for each shoe.
Image: My process included making the first prototype in polymorph, a moldable plastic, then molding with a ligtweight clay. Next I 3D printed models of my outsole parts, made molds of them with resin, and cast them with rubber and foam.
Image: Throughout the process, I experimented with many bioplastic materials before choosing agar agar + wool to make fabric and gelatin based foam for my outsoles.


Sophia Ayers is a 2022 BFA Parsons Fashion Design graduate who has a passion for athletics. This influences her performance centered design approach with attention to functional detail. Sophia gives special attention to sustainablity in her work. She achieves this through thoughtful integration of recycling, creating bio materials and integrating natural materials.


Instagram: @designs.sophia.ayers