This Romanian cobbler came up with a creative way to keep people social distancing—and it involves very long shoes. Via BoingBoing, Grigore Lup developed a new type of long-nosed shoes recently when he noticed that many around him were not adhering to social distancing rules. To help others understand they need to stay six feet apart from each other, he designed these striking shoes. They come in a European size 75.
Lup told Reuters, “When two persons are wearing the shoes and facing each other, there will be 1.5 meters of distance between them.” That’s just about five feet, so it works for physical distancing. It takes Lup two days to craft a pair of these ridiculous but helpful shoes. They’d certainly be a statement piece.
When Lup visits his local market , he can wear these shoes and feel better about others maintaining a respectful distance. Though walking in them seems like it would be quite challenging. Lup, who makes other footwear that he sells online, is offering these social distancing shoes, too. He can make them in different colors if this hue of brown isn’t for you. Lup’s selling them for 500 lei ($115) a pair.
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These shoes are not the most environmentally friendly given the amount of leather required to make a single pair (almost one square meter). Let’s hope someone comes up with a non-leather version—or maybe shoes that emit glowing light to indicate social distancing boundaries.
When Lup isn’t making these long-nosed shoes, he is a well regarded regular shoe cobbler who has been working with leather since he was 16 years old. Since opening his own shop in 2001, he often relies on orders from theaters and operas in Romania and the surrounding area to keep his business afloat. Due to COVID-19, orders have fallen significantly. However, Romania has started to reopen so Lup hopes his business will bounce back soon.
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