A Look At Design & Development Of The Nike ACG React Terra Gobe
Sr. Creative Director at Nike, Nathan VanHook recently shared a look at some of the initial design sketches and testing of the Nike ACG React Terra Gobe.
The Terra Gobe’s upper features a four-way stretch ripstop upper with an overlayed, criss-crossed lacing system and extended pull tabs at the tongue and heel. The sole features rubber lugs at the heel and toe, with a grippy saw-toothed pad at the forefoot for added traction.
You can see some of VanHook’s sketches and Gobe protos, below.
CONSTRUCT:10061 – HybridCraft
“Timberland® CONSTRUCT:10061 is a one-of-a-kind collaboration with ConceptKicks. Every six months a team of the best footwear innovators and creators from around the world rethink every step of our bootmaking process. We opened the doors to our Dominican Republic home and teamed the designers with our skilled craftspeople. Together they’re shaping our products and processes for the future.” – CONSTRUCT:10061.com
Curating a group of super talented designers from across the globe, ranging from London to Shanghai, designers Kitty Shukman, Gaspard Turbant, Aristotle “Ari” Escobar, Jeff Staple, Dominic Ciambrone, Ziv Lee, Santi Zoraidez, Solene Roure, and myself joined forces with Timberland’s Alex Dardinski, Nate Estabrook, Chris Mondelli, Dawn Mozina, Ashley Brown, Tadd Smith, Jeff Lynch, Ulitmakers Luis Rodriguez and the incredibly skilled craftsmen at Timberland’s Plant 11 Factory in the Dominican Republic for our second edition of CONSTRUCT:10061.
This time the focus was around the theme of “Hybrid Craft”. What this essentially meant was, how could we utilize the hand sewn elements of signature Timberland products (eg, Moc Stitch) and reinterperate them in a more contemporary, hiker style aesthetic while crafting them out of recycled materials/sustainable innovations (Leather Weave, Mushroom Leather etc…). Having the ability to also 3D print sole units at the event really added a whole new element to this years project.
An intense few days of shoe desiging and creating culminated in us creating over 80+ compelling concepts in just under four days, which we’ll be sharing with you over the coming weeks.
Stay tuned for any updates via CONSTRUCT:10061 Instagram page.
A Look At The Design Of The Cottweiler x Reebok AW19 Driver
The Cottweiler x Reebok project has produced some of incredible silhouettes over ther past few seasons, from progressive utilitarian concepts, to super unique style juxtapositions. Designer, maker and Footwear Designer 1 for Reebok Technical Style Team, Evan Belforti recently shared some of the initial sketches for one of those unique juxtapositions; the Cottweiler x Reebok AW19 Driver – a sleak loafer styled upper, with a super chunky/aggressive sole tooling.
“Thought I’d share some of my process behind the design of the Cottweiler Driving Shoe. Very proud of these shoes and of our team. Amazing collaborating with Matthew and Ben on such an interesting project.” – Belforti
Below you can see some of Evan’s sketches, which detail everything from the tongue construction to heel and clasp options.
A Glimpse At The Development Of FUTURECRAFT.LOOP
Yesterday, Adidas unvieled their latest addition to FUTURECRAFT entitled, “LOOP” – a 100% recycled, closed loop concept created with Parley For The Oceans.
“FUTURECRAFT.LOOP is a transformative approach to designing performance shoes that are made to be remade from the outset, by using one material type and no glue. Each component is made from 100% reusable TPU – it’s spun to yarn, knitted, moulded and clean-fused to a BOOST midsole using adidas SPEEDFACTORY technology . Once the shoes come to the end of their first life and are returned to adidas – they are washed, ground to pellets and melted into material for components for a new pair of shoes, with zero waste and nothing thrown away. Each generation is designed to meet the adidas sports performance standard, without compromise.” – adidas
Senior Designer Running Advanced concepts, Ulisse Tanzini shared some of the initial sketch/renders as well as what looks to be an early stage sample, which you can see below, as well as some shots of the final product.
Steve McDonald Shares First Wearable 3D Printed Shoe – The 2007/8 Nike “Nest”
Former Nike Designer and ACG co-founder, Steve McDonald is constantly sharing absolute gems via his Instagram account. This time he details some of the initial 3D models of Nike’s “Nest” slides, designed for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
“Nike Nest is the first 3D wearable shoe 2007-8 ever. We made these for Nike Olympiad champions to wear for their podium shoes. Thank you for the amazing engineers and Nike Thai team!!🙏👏🏻
The uppers were built directly in Beaverville, Oregon” – McDonald
See images of the initial modelling and final product shots, below.
The Inspiring Work Of Safa Sahin
Using everything from technical clothing to vacuum cleaners, Safa’s the king of manipulating interesting design features and re-imagining them in sneaker-forms.
You can see more of his mash-ups, below.
A Look At The Design Of The Nike Free 2019 Running Footwear Collection
Nike footwear designer, Rolando Hernández Garcilazo recently shared an insight into the design process of Nike’s latest Free Running Footwear Collection.
“Built on a more anatomically shaped last than traditional running models, the 2019 Nike Free Running Collection introduces new elements that enable a more barefoot-like feel than previous versions.” – Nike
The uppers of the latest collection are comprised of thin-stretch mesh with a minimal lacing system for the 5.0 and a lace-less Nike Flyknit with a secondary lock-down overlay for the 3.0. Both were designed to enhance the natural, second skin aspect of the shoes. There’s also a nod to the original shoes in the overall aesthetic too, with a few of the design lines coming from the natural shape of the foot. The smaller Swoosh symbolizes the shoe’s lower-mileage intent, as these models intended for lower-mileage runs, the foam cushioning in the midsoles is slightly firmer, flatter and lower to the ground, with the intention of delivering greater connection and more natural range of motion than before.
You can see some of Rolando’s sketches and renderings, as well as some beauty shots of the final Nike Free 2019 Running Collection, below.
Christian Tresser Shares The Design Story Behind Some Of His Iconic Products
Designer Christian Tresser, the man responsible for countless iconic designs like the Nike Spiridon and Air Max 97, has been sharing some insights into the design and development of a few of his past designs via his Instagram account.
From the initial sketches of the 97’s, to design original design boards of the Air Max Tailwind, Christian is showing a rare glimpse behind the design process of some of his iconic past work.
NB Numeric 562 By Coree Knox
A personal project by LA Based Industrial Designer, Coree Knox the NB Numeric 562 was designed with the intention of utilising materials and construction methods that aren’t commonly used in skate shoes.
Inspired by the NB Numeric 379, the 562’s feature a more aggressive aesthetic, a low profile synthetic one-piece upper, NDurance rubber outsole, abrasion resistant side walls, Vulcanised sole unit, Moulded rubber heel counter, graphic insole and a breathable inner mesh bootie.
See Coree’s NB Numeric 562 project in full, from sketches to specs, below.
Stepping Up | Rapha Shares Design & Development Of Their Two New Styles
Last week I sat down with Rapha Footwear Designer, Joël Salamin. After some much needed caffeine at one of Rapha’s store/cafe’s, and getting to see both of Rapha’s latest styles, the rugged yet sleak, “Explore” and minimal and clean, “Classic” in-hand, I heard from Joël that the shoes have taken a solid 2 years of intense design and development to come to fruition.
“Cycling is changing and people don’t just stay on the road. They shouldn’t avoid riding gravel, and even getting off and walking sometimes, for fear of destroying their expensive shoes.” – Joël
With the above quote heavily in mind during the construction of Rapha’s two new shoes (both were developed at the same time), each of them were fitted with a super durable anti-slip outsole under the carbon footplate. “We saw it almost like a phone case: a functional outer layer designed to protect a beautiful product that you want to safeguard,” said Joël.
Inspired by trail runners Joël also initially tried out a lace-pull system, but found that they became loose during bumpy rides. Instead, he opted for standard lace ups, but only once he’d made a unique discovery for the shoes’ upper.
“The upper folds in on itself, so rather than having one layer that you pull on when lacing up the shoes, the ‘double wall’ makes them stronger and distributes pressure more evenly across the bridge of your foot. The shoe holds your foot firmly in place throughout the pedal stroke but eliminates pinch points for comfort on the longest rides.” – Joël
“Every brand tries to reinforce their ‘single walled’ shoes with stitches, extra material, and so on, but we realised that we could use the material itself to do this. In the end we created something that looks seamless, with less visible stitching, and that is stronger too. It works so well that we used the same construction and fit on both shoes.”- Joël
You can see some of the initial design and development of the Rapha Classic and Explore, as well as some beauty shots of the final product, below.
A Look At Reebok “Firehawk” Concept Sketches
Currently finishing up a Footwear Design Degree at DMU, Dimitri Gabellier came across some original Reebok concept sketches from Michael Schaeffer (former Reebok Designer and now the Co-Founder of NOBULL) of what seems to be an unreleased model from 1999 entitled the, “Firehawk”.
Aside from the obviosuly strong name choice, the sketches and renders are super well executed. Makes you wonder what else they have stashed away in their cupboards over there….
Nike’s Most Creative Air Max Manufacturing Solutions
Talk to any industry savvy footwear designer or developer, and they’ll tell you they’ve looked at a Nike shoe atleast once in their career and wondered how the f*ck they’ve managed to develop it. From beautiful detailing, to intrictae moulding techniques, Nike’s bar for product execution is very high.
One of the more famous Nike product executions/innovations would of course be the Air unit, particularly when it became a visible part of the sole.
Given that it’s “Air Max Day”, they recently shared some insight into some of their most creative Air Max Design and Manufacturing Solutions, from Split-Seam construction, to Blow Moulding and “OSP” (Outer Swept Pinch) – read more below.
For the full article, head here.
A Split-Seam Construction Gave Air Height
Reinventions of Air Max require striking a deft balance between stability and experience. Creating the softest sensation, provided by the latest Air Max 720, is achieved by pushing the limits of material and architecture. In this case, the Air-Sole doesn’t just offer a big bounce, it cradles the foot for support. Wearers can’t wobble, otherwise the intention of comfort stumbles.
Part of the equation is solved by going big — made possible by an inventive split-seam construction that allows an Air-Sole’s walls to form a large geometry without losing structural integrity.
Blow Molding Created Max Air
Creating huge Air-Soles was originally made possible by a single technology: Blow molding.
With blow molding, Air units were able to take on new forms and designs, including various heights within the same bag for tapering or contouring. Designers could create different chambers or pods with different pressures that provided superior zonal cushioning. Blow molding also allowed designers to create the tallest Air-Soles (with longer-lasting impact protection), minimize midsole foam and make the most visible Air units to date.
How blow molding works
First, TPU pellets are fed into a heated barrel. A rotating screw shears the pellets until they liquefy. Once the material is viscous, it’s forced into a mold (much like squeezing toothpaste into a tube) that is the shape of the final desired part. The plastic cools and is ejected from the machine as a finished component.
The Outer Swept Pinch Reduced Layers
This is an outer swept pinch (OSP). It’s a ridge of TPU that’s durable and reliable enough to connect an Air bag to the bite line of a shoe’s upper. When Nike invented the OSP, it made the 2016 Nike Air VaporMax Flyknit possible — the first foam-, rubber- and glue-free Air unit. Before that, all Nike Air shoes required elements such as foam or TPU rands to connect the Air unit to the upper, which added weight and diminished the soft, bouncy, flexible sensation of Air.
Full article, here.
Maarika Karm Shares Y-3 Hokori Prototypes
During her internship at Adidas, designer Maarika Karm was given the opportunity of designing for Y-3.
This is the perfect example of why internships can be so instrumental in a young designers career, and a big reason why I love Footwear Design – you have the ability to design and create a commercialised product for a brand like Y-3 during an internship.
Below is a look at some of the prototypes developed by Maarika for the Y-3 Hokori, which debuted at this past Paris Fashion Week.
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During my internship in Adidas I had an opportunity to design a shoe for Y-3 and I couldn't be more grateful! Y-3 Hokori at PFW ✨ Photos from @adidasy3 #adidas #adidasy3 #y3 #y3sneakers #footweardesign #footweardesigner #footwear #sneakers #creator #creative #conceptkicks
Nike Pegasus Flying Machines
Earlier this year, Artist/Designer Chris Labrooy shared an insight into these Nike Pegasus Flying Machines, created for a Nike Running campaign.
“Together with the creatives at Nike we set about creating a flying machine for the New Pegasus running shoes. Documented below is a range of ideas and prototypes from a rigorous process where some ideas flew far and others crashed and burned.” – Labrooy
Sneaker and vehicle design have always had alot of similarities. The importance in proportion, silhouettes and fast lines are massivley evident in both. Seeing how concept designer, Chrios Labrooy and Nike decided to take those details and reenvision them into conceptual flying machines is super inspirining to see.
Below you can see some of Chris’ workflow, the final concepts, as well as a few that didn’t quite make the launch pad.