design in pro- and rec-sports

Im trying to find good resources like blogs and forums for this specific field.

Obviously footwear does take a great deal of the attention for most, which i think Core77 reflects quite well.
However, im also interested in the hard- and softgoods part of it. My main interest is action sports, but I do appreciate most sports and what is getting accomplished in them.

Ive found some sites, like Malakye, but none seem really active. So any tips there would be appreciated.

Also, im not entirely sure where it would fit in, in the subforums offered on Core. I’ve seen some interesting post, like the helmet- and lacrosse-threads, but they seem to pop up in different places.

Any leads or ideas would be appreciated.

(damn those pro composite hockeysticks break easily…)

I posted this in the helmet discussion, but I’ll repost it here. Deals with all things sports aesthetics. Helmets, jerseys, patches, historical stuff, collectibles, etc. Paul Lukas does a great job. I don’t really design any softgoods at all, but I frequent the site as a sports fan/design fan.

Thanks for the repost, missed that one!

For the sake of giving/taking, heres some of the ones I frequent. ← website for actionsport jobs and news.


Best ones ive found so far, but tbh theyre just showcasing the new releases. I do miss the design aspect/discussion in all of them.

Personally, I’ve always been a little fascinated with the equipment side, even though I’m not into sports themselves. The science and art that goes into a tennis racquet, a ski, a snowboard binding is just awe inspiring the way they control physics. I’ve been lucky enough to do a little work in this zone, super fun, and I always learn a lot. I worked on some snowboard bindings and goggles which were fun. One of the most challenging was an ankle brace for pro basketball, it never went to production, but I learned so much about the joint and how it works. It was cool to geek out.

Ive been geeking out on hockey lately, as its the Junior world hockey championships right now. I dont usually watch nhl or any other leagues, but this tournament gets me hooked (pun intended). Its Extremely entertaining hockey to watch.

As you said, it’s awesome to see the level of control pro’s have, and how humans can be extremely sensitive to minor alteration of their gear. Like how a sailor can feel a difference of millimeters in the sails seams, its amazing.

This video stunned me to the point where I question its authenticity. (cant get the embedding to work)

Just saw this blurb on Uniwatch

Interesting footwear note from Peter Macaluso, who writes: “My good friend plays receiver for a D-III football program and blew out his knee while making a cut this year. When he went to the rehab center, the people asked him if he was wearing the new Nike Vapors. When he said yes, they checked off a box, because apparently there’s been a jump in knee injuries this year due to the cleats actually being too good at gripping the ground and causing people’s knees to give out instead. I thought that was pretty crazy. I believe Wes Welker was also wearing Vapors when he was injured this week.”

Interesting stuff there Nike… your shoes are too good? I find it amazing that this is possible, a shoe being so good it is actually being looked at as causing injuries rather than preventing them.

Nurb…that’s wild about the Vapors but is something that has come up in the world of cycling footwear. Basically, the carbon-fiber soles have become so stiff that they were creating hotspots in the footbed. I had a pair of Sidi Ergo 2’s that were insanely stiff. Too stiff, actually. I downgraded to a composite sole with a carbon I-beam stiffener and I no longer suffered from those dreaded hotspots.

I guess what I’m saying is that the footwear overcompensated, thus creating a problem that wasn’t there before.

I’ve heard about that before, too! I have a pair of Genius3’s that I love, and I’m glad I don’t have the Ergo’s.

I could definitely believe that. I think it’s pretty obvious if you really think about it. Certain muscles in our body are stronger or weaker from what humans can do naturally from the time we’ve been on this earth. In the natural world, you can only push so hard against the ground while you’re in certain positions before you lose traction and just fall on your butt. So those stabilizer knee muscles have only developed to be strong enough to a certain point. But with new shoes with spikes, etc…those weak muscles need to be a LOT stronger than what they’ve evolved into, we don’t have big glute sized muscles on the sides of our knees and ankles to take that stress when normally a human would just slip.
I used to have that problem when I ran track in high school doing the high jump. I borrowed someones special high jump spikes for a meet and it totally threw off my jump because my foot couldn’t do subtle movements that it normally does when I jump (like rotate). It was tweaking my knees and ankles way too much. So I gave them back and just went back to my regular cheap flats, then went back to jumping like normal. I can only wear spikes when doing straight in-line running events. But for anything involving the slightest chance of pivoting, spikes are an instant blown knee for me.

I am assuming you are talking about american football, not “real” football (soccer) :wink:

This issue has been around for a while and is not limited to Nike. It’s a function of the “bladed” style cleats providing excellent forward traction, but don’t allow for easy lateral or turning movement because they are aligned font to back. In europe (at least while I was there several years ago) many youth clubs were banning blades.

blade style outsole
traditional style outsole
at hummel we did a combo with traditional studs in the pivot point to prevent this very issue

Looks like the model for Running Backs and Wide Receivers are the Vapor Jet 4.2 that has this tread pattern:
Aviary nike-com Picture 1.png

I don’t write in the forum often enough but this subject is really interesting because I work in this field.

The Nike vapor cleats configuration ^^(bladed/traditionnal) seems to be quite regular, I don’t really see in this picture why that would be more dangerous than any other bladed cleats. It’s weird.

Performances in entertainment sports have to improve. So gears are made to overstep the performance. The same thing is happening in downhill skiing. The boots are now really stiffs and bindings are closed tight to keep your skis fixed while you go down a lot faster than your car usually does. So you when you take a curve a little too fast, you tear your anterior cruciate ligament. You get it fixed and you have this big scar on the front of your knee. It’s very common.

Knee-joint structure is a very unstable part of our body and injuries related to it are frequent. Protection gears are still mainly designed for impact protection while, in fact, fracture is not the most frequent injury. There is still not enough torsion/sprain protection on the market to compensate our weak ligaments.


To bring my old thread a bit to life.

I saw a big ass machine in germany last weekend, where they tested different soccershoes grip, in order to find out how prone they were damage the ACL. All kinds of springs and pneumatics with something similar to a last with the shoe that was tested at the moment.

If i remember correctly, they stated that there was no real difference on blade studs and regular studs, and that the grip was rather an effect of the studs placement and amount. All sorts of fancy diagrams in the booth, but I think their research wasn’t funded by anyone but the university where they were conducting Ph.d. (which would also explain the small booth way in the back)