How Many Rocket Scientists Does It Take To Design A Comfortable Stiletto Heel?

At least one

High heels meet space
123,355 ER injuries have been linked to high heels from 2002-2012. Dolly Singh is trying to change that.Photograph by Charlie Langella

As SpaceX’s former director of recruiting, Dolly Singh had a problem: “My high heels f***ing sucked.” She would walk up to 4 miles a day in the unforgiving shoes, and couldn’t find a fashionable alternative. “There’s been no innovation within the high-heel market in almost a century,” says Singh.

She founded Thesis Couture—staffing it with a rocket scientist, an astronaut, and a mechanical engineer—and set out to design a stiletto that was not only comfortable, but would also better absorb shock, offer extra arch support, and distribute body weight more evenly across the foot.

“In a standard pair of heels, 80 percent of your weight is on the balls of your feet. Our goal is to shift that to 50 percent,” Singh says. Thesis Couture will release 1,500 pairs of the limited-edition stiletto, which retails for $925, this year.

This article was originally published in the July/August 2016 issue of Popular Science, under the title "Rocket Science Meets Runway."