FIRST OF ALL:
I´m not a sneaker designer. I´m an industrial designer professionaly working in different categories as small domestic appliances, consumer electronics, watches, furniture and bath ceramics, but I´m a sneaker and basketball lover since 4th grade and collecting shoes for over 20 years. As you know my work is mainly sustainable driven and I always challenge myself within personal projects to rethink the status quo, learn and improve my skills. So this is my journey into the world of sustainable basketball performance sneakers.
Process images show my findings during the research phase where I learned about fundamentals in foot anatomy, shoe manufacturing, basketball shoes and modular possibilities.The goal was to built a repairable and therefore sustainable basketball sneaker. It was nonlinear design process I have to admit, because most of the time I saw in 3d that some ideas didn´t work out. So I had to jump back and forth (sketching, modellmaking, CAD, render) in order to optimize my idea. Besides I learned new apps as SubD modeling Nomad sculpting and improved my Keyshot skills. But let´s start. Welcome to:
BASKETBALL SNEAKER CHARACTERISTICS
Modern basketball shoes need the following characteristics and they were always a guideline during the whole design process: traction (you should be able to stop at full speed and make directional changes at ease); heel to toe transition (needs curvature in heel and forefoot); responsive cushioning (impact protection especially in the heel, forefoot needs to be low to the ground in order to have a better courtfeel); materials need to be light, soft, thin and breathable; padding in the tongue and ankle area has to be soft; support and lockdown (lateral containment); good ventilation.
MODULARITY TO BOOST OUR KEEP CULTURE
Modularity is the keydriver within this project. Most of the time the upper is still intact while other parts for example midsole and sole are worn out or get damaged easily. Therefore 4 main pieces (upper, midsole, shankplate and sole) were seperated. Besides it offers the possibility to adjust different parts to different comfort and performance areas.
AS MINIMAL AS POSSIBLE
The upper is designed in a lightweight construction. Perforations give the sneaker great ventilation. I tried to avoid any glueings in order to keep the parts practical for the recycling process.
INFLATE FOR LONGLASTING COMFORT
Padding in the tongue and ankle area are crucial for comfort. Often these areas are worn out after a few months. This inflatable padding is removable and can be adjusted to your needs for years to come.
THE KEY ELEMENT
The cord lock fixation connects upper, midsole and sole. It can be easily removed and parts can be exchanged.
WHICH STRIKER ARE YOU?
Forefoot, Mid-Foot or Heel Strikers need a dedicated cushioning setup. Therefore the modular system opens up the oportunity to exchange the midsole according to your needs and style of play. Imagine having the perfect midsole design according to your type of play.
The outsole wraps around the entire sneaker and acts like a skin. It keeps everything in place. An indoor (translucent blue) and outdoor (black) version enablel to adjust to every playground. The cord lock fixation is attached in the heel area.
The reusable carbon shankplate also interacts as support and lockdown.
3D scans enable a lot of customization potentials nowadays. Envision your foot and your worn out sneakers are analyzed and a perfetcly tailored product will be 3d printed especially for you. It enhances your performance and protects your body from injuries.
Let´s imagine with every new learning the sneaker gets better and better after receiving new parts. Wouldn´t this be great?
The integration of newer technologies and materials could be applied easily due to the modular construction.
THE NEW SYSTEM BUSINESS MODELL
1. Purchase the whole sneaker
2. Use it until it does not perform well
3. Disassemble, send back broken parts to the company
4. 3D scan of your broken part
5. Analysation of worn out or broken areas
6. Update of the geometry for your best fit and potential weight reduction
7. 3D Print maybe with the reusage of the old material
8. Assemble with the existing parts and use it again