On July 20th, 1969, Neil Armstrong took one small step that captured the imagination of an entire world. It was a moment that acted as one giant leap for all of mankind. And now, 45 years later, GE is hoping to do the same with a pair of commemorative sneakers.
Aptly named “The Missions,” these space-themed tennis shoes have been designed, with the assistance of Android Homme and JackThreads.com, to stylishly reinvent the moon boots used by both Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on that iconic Apollo 11 mission.
In celebration of their continued improvement in technology, GE has brought together some of the most advanced materials to date to improve upon the design that their scientists developed nearly a half a century ago; including one of our favorites, carbon fiber.
Typically used to help build airplanes and automobiles, GE thought that carbon fiber, with its immense strength and lightweight design, was the perfect ingredient to emphasize the importance and versatility of these advanced materials. “Putting stabilized carbon fiber in the shoe is a good way to talk about something that has a big industrial application but a more unusual retail application,” says Linda Boff, executive director of global brand marketing at GE. And what better way to showcase such useful technology than to add it as a major design feature on either side of the shoe? (It’s the dark part, just below the shoelaces.)
In addition to carbon fiber, GE also managed to include other marquee materials. A 3M Scotchlite Reflective Material was used to help create that metallic sheen that is ultimately reminiscent of the original spacesuit worn by Armstrong himself. And the Thermoplastic Rubber used on the soles, not only adds to the classic, high-top design, but also aids in the shoe’s flexibility, impact absorption and overall resistance — as is so often the case when it’s used on heavier machinery.
“The Mission” sneakers are also covered in a water-resistance Hydrophobic Coating, which, like our good friend Carbon Fiber, is typically only seen in GE’s jet engines and wind turbines.
“We thought there are people out there who would love the opportunity to own something like this so we wanted to design something that people would treasure,”says Boff. “You can’t do all this stuff and create a clunker.”
So right she is. Sneakerheads, fashion leaders, engineering junkies and collectors alike will all be salivating once these high-concept, carbon fiber-infused sneakers finally hit the market.
Essentially made for both women and men, they’re only available in male sizes — so women take note — and there are only 100 pairs available. They go on sale this Sunday, July 20, at 4:18 p.m. ET, the exact hour in which the Lunar Module landed on the surface of the moon. They’re priced at $196.90 and are available exclusively at JackThreads.com.
For more information about GE and their “Mission” sneakers, you can follow them on Twitter or on Snapchat via @generalelectric.