Reenvisioning Strobel: The Design Of The KD12

More often than not, Strobel construction is used when making athletic footwear as it’s lightweight and flexible. It’s a construction method that’s been used for quite a while, and really hasn’t seen much innovation since it’s inception.

“It’s one of the unsung heroes in footwear,” says Leo Chang, Senior Creative Director for Nike Basketball Footwear. “The strobel isn’t approached differently other than how it’s been done over the last few decades. And yet it’s literally what separates your foot from the cushioning.”

Thinking of ways they could perhaps question that construction method, Leo Chang and Nike engineers decided to stitch a full-length articulated Air Zoom bag to the upper, and by doing so made the Air unit a more dynamic element of the shoe.

Another interesting aspect is that due to the sizing importance of the strobel, each half-size of the KD12 has it’s own Air unit, from size 3.5 to 18. “There’s a personal fit dialed in for every size person who wears the KD12,” notes Chang (via

Below you can see some of the intitial sketches and final product shots of the KD12.

(To learn more about “Quad Axial Flywire”, head here.)

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Mr. Bailey

Product Designer + Footwear Architect | Founder of @ConceptKicks |

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