It's All In A Sample--Sole Collector Article Idea...

Hello all_

I was recently brought on as a contributing writer to the Sole Collector staff, and have been charged with the “harsh” task of producing various topics to write about for both our online and print outlets. Our magazine has done a wonderful job covering upcoming models from all corners of the industry…of that there is no doubt. But the pieces that have piqued my interests have been the introspective write-ups that delve into designer inspiration, technological implementation, backstories, etc.

With my background as a product tester, I’ve always been fascinated with analyzing the development of a shoe before it releases to the public–nerdy, I know…But what can I say? I dig it! Anyways, I’ve always wondered–what was the reasoning behind removing the shroud, altering the outsole pattern, or choosing the upper materials?

So for one of my first feature pieces, I’d like to explore the various sample stages of a shoe, who is involved with those specific steps, what is decided/changed/altered/added during each step, and how each stage gradually effects the metamorphosis of what eventually becomes that beautiful butterfly of a product. I admit—it’s quite an undertaking, especially with my particularly novice stance in regards to technological development, but I think it’d make for some fun and interesting reading…

I will add as much information to this post as I can over the next week or so, but would appreciate any knowledge ANYONE has…Of course, I’ll publish your name, position/eventual aspirations—I’m just excited and entirely appreciative that there’s a place I can come to discuss technical stuff!

Anyways, what I kind of know:

Look See Sample- After the sketches and price point is approved, a rough conglomeration of materials is constructed to give a rough outline of what a shoe is to look like proportionately.

Intermediate Samples-

Weartest Sample/Product Sample-

Player Sample/Salesman Sample-Player exclusive models, and size 9 stuff product managers and public relations people send out/or meet with retailers about…

Final Product

Is that somewhat correct?

Thanks everyone!

check my blog under the “sample” tag. lots of info on the process and pics of all stages of sample development. there also lots more under “development” and other such tags.

here’s the link,

sounds like it could be an interesting article!