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Posted by Ray  |  19 Aug 2014  |  Comments (1)

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Nike has recently launched its "Genealogy of Innovation" campaign, and the promo video by Golden Wolf is an impressive piece of footwear-centric eye candy, featuring some 200 shoes in all, including signature styles by the Hatfield brothers, Hiroshi Fujiwara, Mark Parker et al. Check it out:

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  22 Jul 2014  |  Comments (6)

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I love seeing this kind of nuts-and-bolts industrial design. Seattle-based designer Eric Brunt observed that what makes snowshoes work is their increased surface area, which enables the wearer to "float" atop the surface. But that increased surface area also means that the wearer has to walk like s/he's in a Monty Python sketch.

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What if, Brunt reasoned, the footprint could shrink when lifted, enabling a more natural gait, then grow again when placed back onto the surface?

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Brunt mocked up a bunch of "kinematic folding mechanisms" in cardboard to see what was possible:

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Posted by Ray  |  31 Mar 2014  |  Comments (0)

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There's a good chance that even those of you who aren't runners are familiar with Nike Free footwear, whether you wear them for other sports or training or as a go-to sneaker for your day-to-day activities. While Tobie Hatfield (Tinker's brother, for the uninitiated) had originally designed the articulated midsole based on the biomechanics of barefoot running, the shoes have been adapted for (and adopted by) anyone who spends time on their feet—in keeping with the Nike credo "if you have a body, then you're an athlete"—which is to say, everyone.

Of course, the concept of Natural Motion is a natural extension (so to speak) of Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman's seminal insight into performance footwear: that it should "provide protection and traction but minimal weight and zero distraction." Like most any design challenge, it's easier said than done: For more on the history and background of the Free—now in its tenth year, Nike recently unveiled the 2014 Collection—we had the chance to chat with Hatfield, Director of Athlete Innovations, on his personal journey, the inspiration behind the Free and what the future holds for Nike.

Core77: Let's start with a bit of your background—tell me a little bit about yourself and how you ended up at Nike.

Tobie Hatfield: Sure—I was a track athlete, grew up in the state of Oregon and knew Coach Bill Bowerman (I didn't know Phil Knight when he was an athlete). When I was a senior in high school, he actually made me my first pair of custom-made track spikes. At first, he X-rayed my feet to actually find out where my bony prominences are, underneath my foot, so he could re-drill the holes and put the spikes in the proper places just for my foot. Little did I know, at that time, he was already starting to teach me about innovation—about working with an athlete, listening to an athlete...

It's something that I look back on, even today, 23+ years later at Nike... but I didn't know I was going to be a footwear engineer, footwear designer, I really wanted to be a track coach—my dad was a track coach for 40+ years. After high school, I went to college, and then I [continued] pole-vaulting for a couple more years. I got into coaching, and I coached at the collegiate level.

During that time, Nike was recruiting me because I spoke Mandarin, because I was married at the time, and my wife is from Taiwan. They were always trying to get people to go overseas, to work with the factories, and knowing that I already spoke one of the languages would make it a bit easier.

But I denied that for a while until my dad came down with cancer—I'd been away from Oregon for about ten years at that time and felt like things were pulling me back to the state... like, well, if I'm going to go back, I might as well go ahead and see what Nike has to offer, so I accepted their offer to have some interviews. At the end of a week of many days of interviews, I was actually offered two jobs, and I took the one where I actually started learning about materials, which is perfect because [at the time] I didn't know much about shoes at all, let alone the ingredients of them.

Nike-Lineup.jpgA brief history of Nike Innovation: Cortez (1972), Nike Sock Racer (1985), Air Huarache (1991), Air Rift (1995), Air Presto (2000)

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Posted by Kat Bauman  |  21 Mar 2014  |  Comments (0)

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So maybe the hoverboards aren't happening, but it's ok: downloadable shoes are here! And not the brittle conceptual heels of high fashion, but totally dope [read: unbelievably ugly] sneaks. The trick is printing with Filaflex, a pretty cool material from Recreus that gives a lot more flex than standard options.

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While they may look like chiseled plastic, they're surprisingly bendable—effectively combining the 3D printing community's penchants for terrible fashion and the needlessly DIY.

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  17 Feb 2014  |  Comments (1)

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In 2011 Nike released the Nike MAGs, based on the design of the kicks Michael J. Fox wore in Back to the Future 2. Supply of the limited-edition sneakers were constrained to boost value, as proceeds were sent to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, netting some $6 million.

While the production MAGs looked like what McFly wore in the movie, they lacked the cool self-lacing feature dreamt up by an imaginative designer (possibly the movie's Costume Designer Joanna Johnston, Production Designer Rick Carter or Art Director Margie Stone McShirley). However, the sneakerhead corner of the blogosphere is currently abuzz with fresh news: Nike designer Tinker Hatfield was quoted at a recent event on whether the MAGs would be re-released for 2015, the year that McFly wore the kicks in the movie. Here's the one sentence of Hatfield's making the rounds:

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Posted by Michael DiTullo  |   6 Jan 2014  |  Comments (2)

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One of the biggest barrier for designers getting their work to the public is the current state of large scale physical retail, which can inhibit risk taking and reward products that are overly conservative. The goal is often to bring products to retail that are already proven. By definition this is going to limit designs that are more niche and interesting, and make designs that are disruptive almost impossible to bring to market.

Perhaps this is why so many people are slightly infatuated with crowdfunding, where a person can have a dream, put some effort in, and directly reach the end user. This process of direct communication with end users eliminates the opinions of dozens of retailers and can appeal to very specific and niche audiences. I don't back a ton of campaigns, but I love surfing through them. A few of our discussion group members even have a slight addiction problem. After all, it does feel a bit like your own personal version of Shark Tank.

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Posted by erika rae  |  18 Nov 2013  |  Comments (5)

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You can never predict where athletic shoe design is going. While they all have the same goal of making the wearer move quicker or better, they all have entirely different ways of doing that. Adidas' springy kicks, Puma's rubberband-like Mobium runners and Reebok's straight-up strange looking "off road" sneaks are all examples of this phenomenon. But the Airia One from Sweden-based Airia Running is looking to top the list when it comes to speed factor. They've created a shoe that shaves 1% (on average) off of your running time. Check out this video explaining the testing process with Airia Running CEO Mattias Geisler:

We had a chance to catch up with Geisler, who shared insight into the 20-year development process behind his the shoe, and how the Airia One's unusual aesthetic conveys the spirit of the product itself.

Airias-Mattias-Geisler.jpgAiria Running CEO Mattias Geisler

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Posted by Ray  |  17 Jul 2013  |  Comments (0)

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While the likes of adidas and Reebok continue to shoot from the hip (or in the dark, as it were) with their latest footwear innovations—the Springblade and ATV 19+ respectively—sportswear pioneers Nike recently unveiled a series of new products "designed to enhance runners' natural abilities." Guided by the company's "Nature Amplified" design ethos, the two new running shoes and two new apparel items are designed expressly as an extension of the human body in order to maximize the potential of the athlete.

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The new Nike Free Flyknit represents the fusion of the distinctive woven upper—widely hailed as a breakthrough ">when it debuted last year—to a Free+ 5.0 midsole to form a killer combo for running performance. And while it might be regarded as an incremental step, rest assured they've since iterated on the first generation of Flyknit, incorporating new research and field-testing data.

A new, more compressive NIke Flyknit construction in the shoe upper secures the runner's foot to the shoe platform. The unique zoned performance mapping pattern of the Nike Flyknit upper is derived from insights on how pressure is exerted on the top of the foot. Nike Sport Research Lab scientists employed pressure-mapping technology to locate stress areas, and designers used the data to inform the new upper. Zones on the top of the foot have engineered stretch built to enable natural flex, while a tighter weave at the perimeter stabilizes the forefoot and heel. Additionally, elasticized construction fits securely around the ankle for a comfortable, secure fit.

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |   3 Jul 2013  |  Comments (3)

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Some of you shared my enthusiasm for the exploratory nature of Adidas' Springblade kicks; others did not (you Cassandras, you). But if there's one area of footwear design wherein innovation of design, durability, comfort and performance are unquestionably crucial, and where marketing is of absolutely no concern, it is in the design of military footwear.

In late 2010, the U.S. Army released a footwear-related design brief, seeking an industry partner to design and manufacture a boot with the following traits:

[We're] conducting a market research investigation for non-waterproof, hot weather mountain combat boots.... [Criteria:]
1.) durable, light hiking-style mountain boot that reduces shock impact while enhancing stability and support to the ankle. These boots, though stiffer and slightly heavier than traditional combat boots, are specially constructed to support movement and stabilize the foot and the ankle over more rugged terrain.
2.) Provides for maximum breathability and water drainage during hot, wet conditions.
3.) Outsoles that provide propulsion and torsional support while allow for breaking and stability while moving down and unstable decline.
4.) Able to keep trail debris out of boot while maneuvering.
5.) Designed to reduce pressure points and discomfort during descents on uneven, rugged terrain.
6.) Prevents blistering during extended use.
7.) Neutral color [such as brown, coyote or olive].
8.) Provide for quick break-in.
9.) Stiff-soled with tread that grips rocky terrain and loose, however flexible enough to remain comfortable for long periods of activity.

It seems no secret that these were intended for Afghanistan. In any case, several manufacturers piped up stating they could manufacture the shoe. In 2011 they began collaborating with Army footwear engineers from the Footwear Performance Laboratory at the Natick Soldier Research, Development & Engineering Center.

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  26 Jun 2013  |  Comments (12)

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Perhaps more so than with other design industries, we love seeing the kooky stuff that sneaker designers come up with. It's an industry backed by well-financed corporations that give designers access to all sorts of materials, a bit like the auto industry. But unlike the auto industry, sneakers are relatively short-lived products with retail prices in the hundreds, not the tens of thousands, so designers have more leeway to try crazy stuff; and if it doesn't stick, it'll wash away in a few more product cycles. That's good for experimentation and increasing the possibility of achieving some kind of radical breakthrough.

On August 1st Adidas will be releasing their $180 Springblade sneakers, which feature "individually tuned blades engineered to help propel runners forward with one of the most effective energy returns in the industry." These have to be the wildest-looking footwear design since Reebok's knobby ATV 19+. The Springblade's sixteen polymer fins, blades, flaps, whatever you want to call them, are meant to help turn downward force into forward motion, and Adidas' Innovation Team reportedly tested "hundreds of materials" to get the desired bounce.

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Skeptics will devise reasons for why Springblades wouldn't work; we'd respond that we don't care. It's the experimentation and latitude afforded to designers that turns us on. What other design industry has such high visibility, accessibility, high-end production, and is willing to take such risks?

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Posted by Teshia Treuhaft  |  28 Feb 2013  |  Comments (5)

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Designers always seem to be on a constant quest for the next big material innovation. From the the first application of steam bending in the Thonet chair to things like Glass Snowboards, material exploration is forever married to object design. One of the materials making a minor resurgence in design projects is Tyvek—you know, the stuff you wrap around houses.

Made from polyethylene fibers, the synthetic sheet material is surprisingly strong and waterproof with a paper-like appearance. It would seem there are endless possibilities for what essentially acts like waterproof paper (such as Jiwon Choi's Vases), but among an incredible number of wallets and envelopes there are few other notable products on the market that incorporate Tyvek. At risk of inciting a Tyvek revolution, one might question where are all of the great design projects that make use of Tyvek? One of the cooler applications in the last few years is from New Jersey-based Civic Duty Shoes in the form of Tyvek sneakers.

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Civic Duty has been around since 2009, headed by Steven Weinreb. The Tyvek uppers are dyed a variety of colors, allowing a bit of visual distance from their close relatives, the FedEx envelope and disposable work suit. While durability of the Tyvek isn't quite on par with traditional canvas or leather, they do offer extreme lightness and recyclability. While perhaps the perfect application would be a Tyvek portyanki—hard to deny that this is bold sneaker-vation.

The design of the shoes include a nod to classic high top, low top and slip-ons sneaker designs, but the material appeal of Tyvek might not extend too far beyond the design geek demographic. Either way, when you decide to invest in a new pair of kicks, remember that Converse high-tops don't employ the same technology as the construction site down the road.

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  25 Feb 2013  |  Comments (1)

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Sneaker innovation (or the Footwear Novelty Gimmick Contest, depending on your point of view) continues. Hot on the heels of Reebok's crazy ATV-style shoe and Adidas' Boost foam comes Puma's Mobium Runner, a sneaker that "expands and contracts with your foot." Two tendon-like attachments running underneath the shoe, and inspired by the plantar fascia connective tissue on the sole of your foot, reportedly allow the shoe to do this.

Whether or not you believe they work, Puma Innovation Team designer Raymond Horacek looks like he has an awesome gig: Based out of their Japan studio, Horacek sketches, wades through Tokyo, quotes Gaudí and studies cats:

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  14 Feb 2013  |  Comments (7)

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There's no consensus on whether it's better to have more, or less, cushioning in a running shoe; this article crystallizes some of the larger theories being debated, enlisting the opinions of an evolutionary biologist who's conducted biomechanical analyses of how the human foot operates during running. But while consensus will have to wait, Adidas isn't. Yesterday they announced their new Boost foam material, "a revolutionary cushioning technology which provides the highest energy return in the running industry."

The foundation of the BOOST innovation is centred on its cushioning material. Based on a groundbreaking development process created by adidas partner BASF, the world's leading chemical company, solid granular material (TPU) is literally blown up and turned into thousands of small energy capsules which make up the footwear's distinctive midsole. With their unique cell structure, these capsules store and unleash energy more efficiently in every stride. Tests conducted by the adidas Innovation Team show that the highly durable material found only in Energy Boost products provides the highest energy return in the running industry.

Here's a quick vid demonstrating the base difference between Boost foam, the industry-standard EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) stuff, and concrete:

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Posted by Ray  |  11 Feb 2013  |  Comments (0)

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Tristan Stoch of Portland, Oregon-based video production company Cineastas recently sent us his latest work, a profile of shoe design veteran Mike Friton. A former track and field athlete with over 30 years of work at Nike to his name, Friton established himself with some of the earliest performance footwear to come from the Beaverton brand, and he continues to innovate as a freelance designer, renowned for his ultraminimal running shoe designs. (His design philosophy is echoed in his web presence: he has no portfolio to speak of, though a quick search turned up a 2011 review of a shoe Friton designed for Soft Star, noting that he was also the brains behind the original Nike Free.)

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Besides designing and crafting shoes—Friton is "responsible for many elements of athletic footwear that people wear today"—he's also picked up weaving and paper sculpting in his effort to "explore the fringes of his field." Check it out:

Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  29 Jan 2013  |  Comments (6)

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Experimentation in footwear design: Reebok's forthcoming ATV 19+ kicks are meant to be an off-road vehicle compared to the highway-driving passenger vehicle of a regular pair of sneakers. An array of 19 knobby protrusions takes the place of a singular surface, theoretically allowing the wearer to tread on tricky surfaces.

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Here's a vid of the design thinking that went into these:

The kicks will be released this Friday.

Via nice kicks

Posted by core jr  |   7 Dec 2012  |  Comments (0)

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Last chance to enter your portfolio and win a scholarship to the iPensole Footwear Academy! Coroflot is teaming up with Pensole Footwear Design Academy to offer five students a unique opportunity to be part of a footwear design masterclass. Learn about color theory, construction, materials, storytelling and biomechanics in a "learn by doing" environment. REGISTER BEFORE DECEMBER 15th!!

This year, PENSOLE has partnered with the Two Ten Footwear Foundation and FN Platform tradeshow at MAGIC to award scholarships to their footwear design class to 210 lucky students. The programs will begin in January 2013 for a 3-week online class and a 4-week masterclass at PENSOLE HQ in Portland, Oregon. Students and schools are encouraged to apply for either program. But most exciting, work from the program will be showcased at the FN Platform footwear tradeshow in Las Vegas, February 19-22, 2013.

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Posted by Ray  |  29 Nov 2012  |  Comments (3)

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At just under halfway through his Kickstarter campaign for his eponymous "freshoe," French designer Olivier Iguaneye is only a quarter of the way to his £20,000 goal. He might be cutting it close, but we hope he reaches his funding goal for the Amazon-inspired second-skin footwear:

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Ok, so that was just the preliminary research for the seamless slip-on shoe, based on the story that "Amazon Indians dipped their feet in the latex from hevea tree and smoked them in a fire to coagulate the first rubber shoes." The final product is far more refined, featuring slits for ventilation an anatomic form developed by footwear specialists Dulster Design.

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Posted by Coroflot  |   1 Nov 2012  |  Comments (0)

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Coroflot is teaming up with the PENSOLE Footwear Design Academy to offer 5 students a unique opportunity to participate in a 3-week masterclass! Learn about color theory, construction, materials, storytelling and biomechanics in a "learn by doing" environment.

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This year, PENSOLE has partnered with the Two Ten Footwear Foundation and FN Platform tradeshow at MAGIC to award scholarships to their footwear design class to 210 lucky students. The programs will begin in January 2013 for a 3-week online class and a 4-week masterclass at PENSOLE HQ in Portland, Oregon. Students and schools are encouraged to apply for either program. But most exciting, work from the program will be showcased at the FN Platform footwear tradeshow in Las Vegas, February 19-22, 2013.

PENSOLE was founded by D'Wayne Edwards, former Design Director of Brand Jordan, to give talented young design students an opportunity to learn from the industry's best and to provide a farm system for the next generation of footwear designers. Since the first PENSOLE class in 2010, academy graduates have found opportunities with footwear companies worldwide such as Columbia Sportswear, Bluehaven, AND1, North Face, New Balance, Wolverine, Cole Haan, Under Armour, Stride Rite, adidas, JORDAN and Nike.

So ready your Coroflot portfolios and register today! They're accepting portfolios until DECEMBER 15th. Don't forget to check the "Coroflot Member" box when you submit your work!

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  11 Oct 2012  |  Comments (0)

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In the beginning of Yojimbo, Toshiro Mifune's ronin character stands in the wilderness and throws a stick in the air. After it lands, he carefully aligns his feet alongside the stick for several steps, and then he's off for an adventure in the direction the stick was randomly pointing.

What if you've got someplace less random to go? London-based artist Dominic Wilcox's "No Place Like Home" shoes can provide some direction. We've seen GPS-embedded footwear before, made for the purpose of tracking an athlete's progress, but Wilcox has designed his for wayfinding.

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After punching in a map destination on your computer and uploading it to the shoes, you click the heels together (nice touch) to activate the GPS link. Then a series of LEDs atop the shoes indicate distance (by illuminating points along a straight line) and the direction you should be traveling in (by lighting up one dot on the perimeter of a circle).

No Place Like Home from Dominic Wilcox on Vimeo.

While the shoes work as advertised, they're not production models; Wilcox designed them as one-offs under commission for the Global Footprint project, a series of events to publicize and celebrate the UK's Northamptonshire-based footwear industry.

Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  12 Sep 2012  |  Comments (0)

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The worst part about kung fu fighting someone in the dark while wearing sandals is that you can't see when you've kicked them in the head. Well, problem solved:

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Sorry, couldn't resist. Those are the Teva Illum 2 sandals, and admittedly the onboard lights are more than a gimmick:

Illum 2 was born from all of the stubbed toes, rolled ankles and black toenails suffered by the Teva Team over the years. Whether they came during dawn patrol hikes down to the beach or late night groover trips around the riverbanks, they hurt - a lot. But all of that becomes a distant memory with Illum's Glow From Below.

Through some design magic, we made the light on the Illum 2 a fraction of the size of the original. It will still get you down a dark trail safely, but now it's barely noticeable when it's light out.

I just wonder if they have any arch support.

Posted by core jr  |  24 Aug 2012  |  Comments (2)

Reebok has long staked a claim to a slice of the sports market, and though it's appreciably smaller than that of the major players, the Canton, MA-based company has managed to stay in the game even as their competitors duke it out in an arms race to sign superstars and rack up medals, both literally and metaphorically. But what's the next step for a brand best known for now-nostalgic Pumps and the aerobics fad?

ReebokFitHub-GenslerArchitects-1.jpgAll images courtesy of Gensler Architects unless otherwise noted

We found out last week, at the grand opening of their first dedicated retail space in the U.S.: in an effort to make the most of their resurgence within the CrossFit community, the Canton, MA-based company is pleased to present the Reebok Fit Hub, a combination store and gym. (The CrossFit phenomenon is a bit too involved to explain here; the uninitiated can learn more at CrossFit.com.) Where Reebok's products are designed to meet the performance needs of occasional gym-goer and diehard CrossFitter alike, the Fit Hub caters to all variety of customer—the Fifth Avenue storefront has attracted a healthy mix of curious tourists, local passersby and fitness gurus.

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The staff, of course, is comprised of the latter type: Reebok has made a concerted effort to hire individuals who are passionate about fitness, including trainers and health experts who can provide offer far more guidance than your average salesperson. Moreover, the Fit Hub is the only place to find much of the product, which was previously only available online, to the benefit of the burgeoning NYC CrossFit community.

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Reebok called on Ziba to design the retail concept, which allows for flexible displays and fixtures precisely because much of the furniture and hardware was inspired by the gymnasium setting. The hard lines of metal and masonite are mitigated mostly by strategically-placed product and color blocking; nary a sheet of plywood is fully painted; playful details are more subtle still (astute visitors will have to find these for themselves). Yet there's no denying the functionality of the wall-mounted rigs, which can be reconfigured for different products, or the step-like stools in the footwear section have the same cutout handles as the actual workout equipment downstairs.

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Posted by Ray  |  29 Jun 2012  |  Comments (2)

Flotspotting - Matt Pauk - New Balance Aneka

Coroflotter Matt Pauk is a footwear design pro: he's been at New Balance for the better part of a decade, and it shows. As Senior Designer in the Innovation - Wellness category, he's pleased to present his latest project: the "Aneka" lifestyle shoe.

This concept is the result of research into the body improvement market. Aneka is something truly fresh for the wellness space. Drafting success of yoga, with participation up double digits, Aneka strives to provide a shoe with a similar mind set. This is a pure and honest concept that is physically provocative through each step you take. It targets the active, style-driven woman looking for a truly unique footwear solution.

Flotspotting - Matt Pauk - New Balance Aneka

Flotspotting - Matt Pauk - New Balance Aneka

Flotspotting - Matt Pauk - New Balance Aneka

Besides the fact that Pauk's clearly a natural, he's done a great job documenting the entire design process.

Flotspotting - Matt Pauk - New Balance Aneka

Flotspotting - Matt Pauk - New Balance Aneka

Flotspotting - Matt Pauk - New Balance Aneka

Flotspotting - Matt Pauk - New Balance Aneka

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Posted by core jr  |  15 Jun 2012  |  Comments (1)

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Nike is pleased to unveil the Olympic uniforms for the US Track & Field team, featuring a number of technological innovations based on new developments in sports science research and testing. While we've already had a look at Flyknit technology, Nike announced that the lightweight footwear will be paired with new track apparel, developed as part of the Nike Swift research program.

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They've continually refined and streamlined the bodysuits, including proprietary features such as the 'golf ball dimples,' which date back to '08:

Just as a golf ball's dimples are designed to help it go farther and faster, NIKE uses a similar idea to help reduce the aerodynamic drag of the athlete. Using revolutionary Nike AeroSwift technology, patterns and surface architectures informed directly by wind tunnel data are strategically placed on key areas of the athlete's form. The result offers the greatest aerodynamic drag reduction of any NIKE uniform to date.

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They also look pretty sharp, as Olympians Carl Lewis, Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Michael Johnson noted at the press event last night. The trio—who have 20 Olympic medals between them, many of them gold—all agreed that good apparel can instill a bit of extra confidence, not least when emblazoned with the colors and symbols of a nation.

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EXCLUSIVE: Nike Global Creative Director Martin Lotti walked us through the design process and considerations for the new Pro TurboSpeed uniforms:

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  18 Apr 2012  |  Comments (2)

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Sketches by Cameron Braithwaite

Whoa—we've seen footwear design competitions before, but none with a purse this large: Alabama-based Power Force Apparel is offering $25,000, mass production of your design, and a trip to NYC for whomever wins their "Design the 'You' Shoe" design competition. With all of the sneaker sketches populating Coroflot, we couldn't not post news of this one.

The brief is pretty broad, seeking designs for "an original athletic men's or women's shoe, innovative, and unique, unlike any other design that is out there right now." And your drawing skills better be up to snuff because you get to submit one, just one, piece of paper.

Second and third prizes aren't too shabby either, with purses of $15,000 and $10,000, plus the same trip to NYC, to attend the 2012 Fashion Footwear Association of New York convention.

The competition opened yesterday, and you've got just over two weeks—until Friday, May 4th—to get your submission in. Contest rules are here, and the entry form is here. (Apologies to our global readership, this one's U.S.-resident only.)

Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  16 Apr 2012  |  Comments (0)

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Nike CEO Mark Parker has a more intimate connection with the design process than your average executive, as he originally signed on as a footwear designer before working his way up the ranks. At this month's NFL launch event, Core77 caught up with the man who oversees Nike's multibillion-dollar empire--and a staff of some 700 designers, not to mention the external creatives whom Nike consults with--to talk big-picture design.

In the video below, Parker describes how Nike observes and collects data from the athletes they work with and injects that into the design process; how co-founder Bill Bowerman's relentless inventorship continues to inform Nike's ethos today; how footwear continues to evolve through advances in materials science; why sustainability and impact is a big part of Nike's design process; and the importance of designers remaining connected to the world for which they design.

Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  10 Apr 2012  |  Comments (1)

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It's tough to compete with an announcement as big as Nike's NFL gear release, but last week another Nike product made a quieter debut: Their latest line of Free running shoes, which are inching closer and closer to providing the unrestricted range of motion of wearing no sneakers at all while still protecting your feet from the ickiness of urban streets.

In the promising trend we've seen recently across a multitude of industries, Nike has released a video of the actual designer responsible for the product discussing elements of his design. (It also doesn't hurt that Nike CEO Mark Parker started out as a designer himself.) Here's Senior Nike Footwear Designer Mark Miner:

With as much ink as Miner has on his arms, it's no surprise the man still draws. A lot. (Check him in action after the jump!)

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