1HDC 08.05 - Vive le Tour Cycling Shoe!

Doors open:
Monday July 28th, 2008
9 AM PST (4 GMT)

Doors close:
Sunday, August 3, 2008

Vive le Tour Cycling Shoe!

Carlos Sastre just spent 3 weeks of his life cycling over 3500 Kilometers (2200 Miles) to win the 2008 Tour de France. How better to celebrate with him than to spend an hour to design a spiffy new cycling shoe? That’s right, Sastre spends over 87 hours getting saddle sores (ouch!) and you spend an hour sniffing Prismacolors. Sound like a fair trade? We’ve even invited Bill Cass to join the judging crew. He works for Nike designing cycling shoes for guys like Mark Cavendish and some guy named Lance Something-or-other.

Judging will be based on quality of presentation and whether or not your work could have realistically been done in 1 Hour (this is an honor system).

Publicity in Core77 May Newsletter, publicity on Core77 Blog, Bragging rights that Bill Cass chose your design (neener neener neener!)

Winner will be selected by Bill Cass and Core77 Admin. Community discussion is encouraged to help ensure the best design wins.

Remember to post all images to the submissions forum so that it doesn’t get overlooked!

Good Luck!

Usually I like the 1hr Design Challenges, but a Biking Shoe? No offense to all of the shoe designers out there, but other than styling, that isn’t very thought provoking by any means. Whats the deal?

Ha! Can’t please 'em all. I am pretty excited by this one. I think with all the activity going on in Sketch Fu this could be cool.

What is it about a bike shoe you don’t like? I definitely don’t think another basketball shoe made sense…considering that is what a good chunk of the sketches on the boards seem to be for as it is.

That and its timely. The Tour de France just ended.

Why am I justifying this? Rather than gripe about it, how about you throw something down and tell me how easy or hard it was after you did some work on it. I will even give you “research time” for free. Do an hour or two of research on biking shoes, choose a team to design it for, and then start your 1 hour ticking.

I don’t mind biking shoes. Seems like a fun challenge.

spoken like a true cyclist…

my mind is already racing with what i don’t like about my current road and mountain shoes–and how i could do 'em up better. how’s that one go? “there are no small parts…”

so what happens if the winning design gets produced?

I honestly don’t see that happening.

bonus points (an possibly publicity points) for anyone who video tapes their design session.

FYI, Putting the “no offense” in there does not make it any less offensive.

I’m stoked to see that Bill Cass will be judging. Bill as an awesome designer and is responsible for many of Lance Armstrong’s cycling products from a few years back. Bill is a hard core cyclist himself and even trained with Lance at a few points in the process while researching his ideas.

I saw your invitation to “tape” the design process after I had submitted my entry already. Just wanted to say that my time (45 min) began with me thinking, “hey this is a good opportunity to present that Chucks idea I’ve been thinking about” and included all the time spent at the Converse site doing custom coloring and Googling and downloading appropriate imagery for carbon fiber texture and the cleat.

VectorWorks (for whom I work, disclaimer) is a good design environment for doing (among other things) mashups of imagery and vector art like this.

This is my first 1HDC entry. There are a lot of great entries out there. Impressive talents. Thanks for hosting this!!

wow…already some great sketches showing up! Mention shoe design, and people start coming out of the woodwork!

Hopefully I’ll have time to partake if I think of something worthy of submitting…unfortunately, I don’t have much cycling experience.

Good luck everyone!


ok, this ones for the shoe experts out there:

in a cycling shoe, does one want ankle support?
my intuition was no… binding or restricting the ankle would cause chafing\discomfort etc…

however there have been a few submissions that add some sort of ankle support… would this add more power to or detract from the cycling experience?

I am a long time cyclist and have degrees in physical therapy and biomechanics. In my experience, I have never seen a cycling shoe with significant ankle support. Some winter shoe models cover the ankle, but don’t really provide support. The motion of the ankle varies from person to person and no one particular strategy has been shown to be the best. This has also been called the “ankling” strategy. It refers to the up and down motion of the forefoot in relation to the heel while pedaling. Many riders endorse moving the cleat attachment under the center of the foot to improve power transfer from the lower leg and decrease the ankle force required. This has not been backed up in any studies to my knowledge, though.

The general theory is that the muscles that cross the ankle are much weaker than the upper leg / hip and knee extensor muscles. As the ankle muscles fatigue under hard efforts, it’s reasonable to assume that ankle motion would dissipate energy through eccentric lower leg muscle contractions - therefore an ankle brace could aid in power transfer from the upper leg. This is very similar to why cyclists use tight, stiff soled shoes - any intrinsic foot movement would simply waste energy.

I don’t know if it would be uncomfortable or not to have an ankle brace on the shoe - there’s never been one to try. I imagine that if it did help power output at all, the pros would be using it for time trials, mainly - where comfort really isn’t a significant consideration.

being an avid cyclist for many years, I can tell you that no, you do not want any ankle support. The reason being that on top of the up and down movement of the circular pedal stroke, the foot also moves side to side in a natural pedaling motion, especially when sprinting and hammering out of the saddle, as when you do uphills.

Adding a brace around the ankle would hinder the lateral movement, thus restricting the performance of the cyclist.

Also, if you look at almost every cycling shoe design out there, they all leave the ankle free to move.

Wow thanks for the response tridesign, and fede21us too.

thats kindof what i thought, but didn’t really understand why - thanks!


This is the part of this forum I LOVE. The day to day banter is amusing. But this kind of dialogue is so cool. I love learning new stuff.

Most of that lateral movement of the foot comes from tibial rotation during the pedal stroke - so the foot would move in the same direction as the lower leg and would not cause rotational friction in the ankle brace. There may be some other ankle related lateral motion due to foot motion in the shoe (i.e. pronation/ supination) but the rigid sole and tight fit try to control this as best as possible. I’m still not saying that an ankle cuff might not have drawbacks, but I think it deserves to be prototyped and tested somewhere out there.

P.S. Some of the cooler (read: more expensive) production shoes out there are made by Simmons Racing (see some pics at the link below)

I thought it might help to provide some insight for those who don’t bike at all. All of the entries have been excellent!

In my opinion, the parts of the actual cycling shoe (I’m ignoring the shoe/ cleat interface – that’s a whole other animal) that could still use design improvements include (along with currently available products):

  1. Closure system – need to be secure, but not constricting and adjustable while riding the bike.
    a. Velcro straps http://www.brandscycle.com/merchant/278/images/large/vagabonwomr3.jpg
    b. Ratcheting systems http://www.wiggle.co.uk/images/sidi-genius5-road-zoom.jpg
    c. Wire cables http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/photos/tech/xmas/xmas07/scott-shoe.jpg
  2. Customization of fit
    a. Heat-moldable plastics http://www.bikeradar.com/road/news/article/just-in-orbea-orca-hed-wheelset-shimano-shoes-and-more-16887?img=9
    b. Interchangable insoles http://www.primera-bournemouth.co.uk/productImages/1375-1-4349.jpg
  3. Speed and ease of getting the shoe on and off
    a. Single strap closures http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41EHTME3VBL._AA280_.jpg

Of course, there are many different types of riders who are interested in different designs.

  1. Recreational / Lifestyle wear – want to look cool wearing cycling shoes all day and be able to walk easily in the shoes
  2. Road racer: want light, stiff, secure, efficient shoes
  3. Triathletes: Want light, secure shoes that can be put on and off very quickly and easily
  4. Time trialists: same as road racers, but with a super smooth, aerodynamic covering
  5. Mountain bikers: Rugged, with tread. Sometimes need to run in the shoes to get over things.