Basketball Shoe Design
- Your mission is to design a basketball shoe for a specific user category that you choose. Examples could be but are not limited to designing for a specific basketball position or environment. You should think about how your chosen area of design affects the way the game of basketball is played and how a shoe could improve those qualities for your user. An example could be the needs of a shoe for a point guard compared to that of a shoe for a center. Concepts should be designed around performance and not include any branding. Along with your visual concept, required is a short paragraph explaining your design as well as your research or inspiration methods.
Tear up The Court
Unleash the Predatory Savage Within
- Written Description:
The brief lead me to consult my school’s basketball team; where I studied their style during training. Observing the relationship to the position they played and finally what shoes they wore. The aim was to understand the players and which role seemed most interesting to further analyse. The Point guard position seemed like one of the most influential and important positions in the team, this was chosen as my target user. The point guard’s job is to start at the back of the court of each play and link each player; it was clear this player required good mobility, agility and swiftness when taking the ball up the court. My first course of research was to study other shoes on the market taking into account what shoes performed well and primarily based upon user feedback within the online basketball communities where I found the pro’s con’s and the desires of users.
Initially drawing up ideas I found it very difficult trying when make this project personal as I had no previous experience in basketball shoe design nor was I a player. In order to really understand my project I required direction. This lead me to go back to talk to one of my friends Darius who had played the point guard role, he gave great level of insight into his role and what his requirements and desires were when selecting a shoe. He was very passionate and certain in what he was looking for; a shoe that was low to the ground had good ankle flexibility without compromising the level of essential support. He discussed that he wanted a low shoe height as he could have more precision and control on the court, good ankle flexibility to allow full freedom of movement and a good wide toe cap to allowing his toes to splay to provide more natural support, improve jumps and enhance his game. He said: ‘look make sure to be careful when designing the shoe heel because of rubbing at the back of my leg, also make sure that the foot is allowed movement but not too much to slide around as it causes blistering.’
Working with a friend proved useful as I now had a target user who I could design a shoe for and gain feedback from, giving the frame work for my specification based upon his requirements and the briefs outline. I showed Darius a few concepts based upon his input and he approved fully supporting the ideas I had generated however one design specifically that was very ‘trainerish’ in appearance was his favourite and something he had in mind. He finally noted just showing the technical aspects of the shoe and how it enhances his play wouldn’t be enough. He personally enjoyed shoes that had flair. It was apparent that in order to really add the icing to my concept it required a suitable style that reflected player’s image and sold the concept.
The final designed named Saber inspired by the prehistoric saber tooth. The Saber allows the point guard to swiftly travel down the court; his agility is enhanced with a low to ground responsive trainer allowing proprioception due to this natural stance and gait. The hard midsole increases performance by strengthening foot muscles due to less sole padding. Like the prehistoric savage the Saber has the ability to pounce, the wide toe cap allows the player to splay their toes naturally with a spread forefoot the shoe fully connects to the ground. The player can overcome and overwhelm any opponent with the enhanced ability of this connective shoe. The shoe has a dual inner ‘sock’ lining to decrease rubbing and blistering however to maintain that spacious unrestricted feel. Predatory instinct kicks in when linking players with the ball, the lightweight materials optimises players speed. The lightweight materials, the Hi PU toe cap and ankle support, nylon mesh side panels and high density EVA rubber sole are the bases for any solid point guard shoe.
Winning entry in the Designlab101 design competition, the concept Saber enables the Point Guard to assist other players and provide support and agility.