Re: Interchangeable Footwear

Postby rkuchinsky » January 24th, 2013, 10:22 am

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If making any tooling consider how you could make the part flat and wrap around during assembly. Flat parts are not that expensive, but as soon as you have something 3D with a lot of volume, the price increases quite a lot. Multi shot colors and details also add costs.

I've seen anything from a $600 mold for a small TPU shank up to a $8000 mold for a 3 color shot soccer outsole.

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Re: Interchangeable Footwear

Postby engio » January 24th, 2013, 11:16 am


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Right, those prices are in line with my experience with TPU as well - usually quite cheap compared to the typical ABS/2k stuff. I just figured that with the high volume of shoes the investment in any TPU tooling would be negligible. Any plastic tooling below $10k I usually consider cheap.. But I suppose the payoff times in business cases for shoes would need to be much shorter since the shelf life might not be more than what, 2 years? So cheap in one field is not as cheap in another.. also I forgot about the 10 different sizes thing :)

Re: Interchangeable Footwear

Postby nordmade » January 24th, 2013, 11:35 am


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I have opened moulds costing around the 10k mark with our factories and they themselves pay for them up front. Our customer might place an initial order of 30k units and a further order of say 20k. The factory simply add around 20 cents t the cost of each unit and the cost of the mould disappears so to speak as its been costed into the orders over time.

Re: Interchangeable Footwear

Postby tmatic » January 24th, 2013, 2:45 pm


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Hi all I'm always in and out of this forum and sure I have posted a few times. So hello to all and will be hopefully adding my 2 cents to anything discussed.

Regarding mould costs for TPU etc, It is an expensive part of the footwear process as pointed out by many already. Using TPU outsoles for football I have worked on costs around 8-10K so is very costly. Using moulds like the Adidas F50 where the counter is incorporated adds a lot more to this due to having further sections that have to move etc to remove a more '3D' unit.

Pebax is quite a brilliant product that is a more advanced TPU but cost a third or so more

Tom

Re: Interchangeable Footwear

Postby nordmade » January 24th, 2013, 5:06 pm


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Tmatic, i believe this is the Tmatic from such fame as the footsoldiers?!

yes?

good to be in touch mate

Re: Interchangeable Footwear

Postby shoenista » January 26th, 2013, 9:38 am

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nordmade wrote:I'm thinking of developing 2 initial products. Both uppers on the products will disconnect via zip [still thinking about this one] at the most forward point of the eyelet/facing panel and zip round to the other side to remove the upper. This means that the outsole will have the toecap/vamp connected and possibly tongue .


Sounds a lot like this?

http://www.google.com/patents/US20070234596

I would check patents out before you get on with the design of this - there are 3 companies that I know of (incl. Nat-2) selling patented zippered type footwear at the moment and AFAIK all hold patents.

Re: Interchangeable Footwear

Postby yo » January 26th, 2013, 11:28 am

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I remember we were having a large collaborative work session on modular footwear, this was about 10 years back. Most of us were hard at work cranking on different ways to have interchangable parts, when a designer who was smarter than me got up to leave the room. He left us with this, to paraphrase "I just realized this is futile, the entire shoe is a modular part of your wardrobe, if you wanted a different looking shoe, you would just buy another shoe. It is not like they cost as much as cars."

The rest of us kept working, and a bunch of prototypes and samples were made, but nothing reached production.

I've seen a few zip products in production. They always fall apart for me in a couple of key areas: 1) zippers are fussy, they are never easy to zip on as they are to zip off. 2) Shoes get grimy, I really don't want to be touching the bottom of my shoes much.

Re: Interchangeable Footwear

Postby yo » January 26th, 2013, 11:31 am

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a few things to look at:



This one is pretty cool. A zip off collar from Creative Rec. Changes the shoe without having to fuss with the outsole/midsole unit.
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Re: Interchangeable Footwear

Postby shoenista » January 27th, 2013, 9:25 am

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"I just realized this is futile, the entire shoe is a modular part of your wardrobe, if you wanted a different looking shoe, you would just buy another shoe. It is not like they cost as much as cars."

This is how I feel about the womens shoe with adjustable heel so you can go from low to high heel.
3 companies have now brought this to market and they all look awful. Main reason being that a womans foot is a completely different shape and length when it's on a high heel compared to a mid heel or a flat, go look at some lasts to see how different that shape is. It's so, so different. So, unless you can design some kind of robot-shoe that has an extendable and retractable sock, a topline that can change length, then you end up with a compromise that looks dreadful. Plus the mechanism, it's ugly. Do we really need inventions or contraptions like this?

Yet everyone still keeps on trying it.

The companies that have had success are not the ones offering adjustable heels, it's the ones that have found another solution to the 'problem', those that offer a roll up or foldable ballerina pump, that you can pop in you purse. So you can have your Louboutins with the sexy heel (instead of some monstrous telescopic bit of black ABS) and then put the ballet shoes on when you've had enough.

On the same tip there is someone trying to flog heel cover attachments so you don't trash your shoes in the car whilst driving. Again, it's a design for a problem that already has a solution, is it that hard to keep some driving shoes or old loafers in your car?

Re. the zipper shoes - I think they only really work for kids, kids like to play with toys and it makes the shoe into a toy. One of my old fast-fashion bosses back in the day said to me, 'make the shoes look like toys.'

Re: Interchangeable Footwear

Postby superwoo » January 27th, 2013, 8:15 pm


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Look at the shoe designs by Fessura. They've been making different upper designs on the same 2 soles for over 10 years. Sure the brand never grew to become mainstream, but their designs are still fresh and for some like myself iconic.

They used to make an interesting Chuck Taylor type upper which was velcroed onto the sole, but I forget the name of that model.
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Re: Interchangeable Footwear

Postby ADD » January 27th, 2013, 11:23 pm

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What is really important ?
Is it "good shoe design" with few options or per say it is interchangeable (ITC) shoe?

ITC option. It works for little expensive product ..not of regular use.
So when you purchase them, you see the add-on advantage/ value in the product.
Moreover, Interchangeability always affects one of the factors (strength, design, integrity)...to offer it in the product.

Coming back to this post, I think "ITC upper" is a good option but the design should be at par with the existing non ITC design.
Otherwise, it will be difficult to trade with..

Re: Interchangeable Footwear

Postby nordmade » January 28th, 2013, 4:46 am


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"I would check patents out before you get on with the design of this - there are 3 companies that I know of (incl. Nat-2) selling patented zippered type footwear at the moment and AFAIK all hold patents."

Thanks for all your replies.

I didn't mention earlier that my client has a patent granted on their idea. The only thing i'm still working on regarding this is the style/ material of the zipper. The patent includes the upper being allowed to zip off the outsole as i described earlier, however their uniqueness is that the toe cap/vamp does not and still looks like a conventional shoe which is nice as it retains that classic look from all angles. I think the toe is vital for customers to make the decision on whether the product looks nice. My idea has always been as one of the posters has stated, that the shoe should have the interchangeability however not compromise too much on looks. Some very interested buyers have said to us "why don't you make the zip a strong feature" but in my eyes it's more of a reason not to buy the product for a lot of people.

Some very interesting posts which i'm very appreciative of.

Thank you

will keep you updated

Re: Interchangeable Footwear

Postby JB24 » January 29th, 2013, 12:39 am


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When I saw this topic I remembered a footwear brand I came across a few years ago called 'Skins'. Essentially the upper and outsole are one piece (this is the Skin) and then there looks to be a TPU mould which goes into the shoe to give it structure which they call the Bones. The whole idea is so you can interchange your shoe (Skin) depending on where you are and what you're doing without changing the fit and feel (Bones). I've never seen these in person and had completely forgot about them until now. Here is the link anyway http://skinsfootwear.ca/index.php

Re: Interchangeable Footwear

Postby yo » January 29th, 2013, 10:18 am

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Basically a "grenade" construction outsole/upper with a drop in midsole? Looks pretty well done.

Nordmade, good luck with the project! Lots of people have taken a crack at this but no one seems to have been able to pull it off fully... Yet. There seems to be a fascination with it.

I wonder if anyone would sell it as a "kit". One outsole with 2 or 3 uppers so you have some parts to interchange out I the box. We are doing that with a headphone this year. It comes with 2 of all of the parts you can interchange. Called the BOOM Swap http://www.boommovement.com/content/new-product-swap

Re: Interchangeable Footwear

Postby nordmade » January 29th, 2013, 11:28 am


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Thank you Michael. I like the idea of a product which you can adapt whether its to change its "look" or colour way but also to update its components to keep it current or feeling like new. Like a PC i guess where you can take the tower off and upgrade the processor or hardrive. The idea of making products more useful buy not making them ready for the scrap yard or obsolete after a small amount of time appeals to me greatly.

Nice headphones by the way.

thanks

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