A Special Shoe for a "Lucky" Penguin

Teva collaborates with Zoo on Lucky's shoe penguin wearing shoe

Did you notice that one of the Zoo's penguins wears a shoe?

This penguin is named Lucky. He wears this shoe to help him with a medical condition in one of his feet.

Lucky hatched here at the Zoo. As soon as he began to walk, the keepers noticed that he limped. The Zoo's veterinarian discovered a problem with the growth of some of his foot bones. Because surgery was too risky, and most likely wouldn't work well, the vet and keeper staff decided to make him a special shoe.

But where do you get a shoe for a penguin? The Zoo found a community partner in Teva, a local adventure footwear company that makes shoes and sandals especially for people who are active in, on, and around the water.

Teva's design team volunteered hundreds of hours to design and make a special shoe for Lucky and the company has committed to providing shoes for Lucky for his entire lifespan. The shoes are changed daily so they can be washed.

Thanks to his new shoe, Lucky can now walk, jump, and swim like the other penguins, and is well on his way to living up to his name.


Lucky Video




Sketch of Penguin Shoe

A shoe for a penguin has to be lightweight, provide traction, and easily shed water. In Lucky's case, it also had to cushion his foot. Most of all, it had to be comfortable.

Lucky's leg and foot were measured. Models and sketches were made. Teva designers worked with different materials, waterproof fabrics and designs. They hand-made several shoes for Lucky to try.

Some cutting edge technologies were used in the final shoe. Ion-mask™ helps Lucky's foot stay dry, as it makes the shoe completely "hydrophobic" (waterproof). Spider Rubber + JStep ensures that Lucky doesn't lose his footing going in and out of the water.


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