Nike Air Force Adapt - Design Continuation

Hi everyone,

For those who don’t know, I was recently selected as a winner for the Nike Futuresole contest. My design, the air force adapt, can be viewed here:

Story/Inspiration of the shoe: big guys are changing from pure power players to more agile athletic guys. With that in mind, the shoe had to ADAPT to the new style of game. I made the adaptation connection to evolution, and I got a lot of my design cues from the Finch, which is one of the first animals Darwin found to support his theory of evolution. I also got other cues for the shoe from the honey-comb like organization of tissue within your bones, and the straps are inspired by the closure system on microwaves.

What I’d like to do now is continue the design. I think there are quite a few flaws with the shoe, both from a performance and an aesthetic standpoint. I’ve gotten a pretty strong response from people that the shoe looks too much like the Nike Zoom Sharkley. From a performance standpoint, I think the shoe is too crammed with technology, and there needs to be a focal point of the shoe.

Here’s where I’m thinking I’d like to take the shoe:

-Aesthetically, simplify the shoe so it can be an iconic design, but at the same time, not look too sleek and still be powerful.
-Eliminate the strapping system, I think it’s too impractical. Instead, I’d like to make the focal point of the shoe the cushioning system, and integrate that with the support system. Here’s a few ideas for that (credit to Mark Miner, (dygitalvision) for getting my thoughts going on these):

-Have a TPU support structure, (like on my previous concept), but have it directly attached to a TPU midsole cradle for the lunarlite foam. The top layer of the midsole cradle would serve as a shank plate, and honeycombs would be shelled out of that top part to serve as flex grooves. A hexagonal straw would be inserted through honeycombs cut out of the upper, (right above those in the shank plate), and then through those in the shank plate. Lunarlite foam would be transfered into through the straw into the open space in the cradle.

The advantage to this is that the lunarlite foam would essentially be protected from the immense weight of power forwards and centers in the NBA by the TPU cradle. It would still be lighter overall (I think, let me know if I’m wrong), but would be able to handle big guys.

-Have the TPU support structure woven to the upper instead of sewn or glewed. Leather (or another material) strips would be woven through the honeycomb openings in the structure and slits in the upper. The advantage to this is to allow a bit more natural movement, and allow the support structure to move with the foot a bit more. Big guys are becoming more agile and athletic, so their shoes can’t restrict them. At the same time, the woven construction would only allow for a small amount of side-to-side movement, so the TPU structure would still support your ankle.

Here’s a few sketches of the ideas. They’re very rough, so let me know if you need me to clarify anything in my sketches, because I’d like to get some feedback on them before I move forward.

Wow Ben…
You JUST won possibly the biggest sneaker contest ever…with the biggest company…
You JUST got homr, from sharing your design with numerous designers and people in the industry…
Got a model made of your design an everything…

and YOU havn’t stopped!!..Your not satisfied with the design that just got you all of this…WHICH IS AWSOME!..

Thats whats up Ben…So much passion, determination and work ethic…which is exactly what you need…
No matter the design…I just think it is truly amazing you are doing this…
Keep at it Ben…Can’t stop, Won’t stop…

I like the thought and what you got going so far…

Well, I’ll be honest Brian, part of the reason I’m continuing the design is because my goal was to win the contest, and I didn’t, I tied. I think I’m good enough to win, so it’s frustrating to think I didn’t work hard enough to put myself in a place to get the win. That’s no knock on Juan, either. His design was really good. It might seem stupid that not getting first place gets to me, since I still got the first place prize and everything, but I didn’t achieve my goal, which has never really happened to me before (at least pertaining to shoes). It’s not that I’m competitive, but winning the contest was the goal I set for myself, and I didn’t get it. I just thought it would be better to keep at it rather than celebrate something I’m not totally satisfied with.

Anyways, vent over. Let’s hear some feedback.

I think your design has definitely improved over the previous.
You have a really good attitude about achieving your goals. This is what drives the brand forward: the constant pursuit of improvement. So don’t look at this as a missed goal, the clock ran out on you. Keep evolving for the next year’s model.

wow, great attitude, solid work ethic, I’m inspired !

New iteration looks solid, I would watch the areas where the weave bends sharply around the shape of the tpu (particularly below the top lace eyelet) if there is a way to make all those transitions a little smoother it would help unify all the weave as a “weave elements” like piping rather than reading each individual weave.
Hope that makes sense, shoes are not my native design speak so excuse any terminological inaccuracy.

great to see you working to improve your award winning concept, great attitude.

I think your tweaks have definitely improved your design. IDiot makes some good points about the weaving. Looking at your lateral sketch, I think the area where the upper wraps around the achilles is a little bit too busy, perhaps you could have the upper only reach to the top eyelet or so, and then make the sleeve morph into a collar which could attach to the honeycomb structure.

Hope this gives you something to consider, good luck.

Thanks very much for the comments, guys.

Sindri: I like your suggestion…I will definitely clean up the ankle area because that has too much going on in it.

IDiot: I agree. I sort of threw those weaves on there to show the concept and didn’t really take their aesthetic into account.

Robin: Will do. Thanks for the suggestion.

I’ll post another sketch up in a little while.

congrats Ben…good work
that is real cool design…great execution

hey this is my first post
my biggest comment about your redesign is i dont think you should lose the shape of the shoe. the shiloette of the original was really great espcially at the back and you seem to have changed that quite a bit in your redesign.
i really like incorperating the hexagons into the cnstruction of the upper and stiching the upper to the midsole is a great idea. i cant wait to see what you come up with.

Congratulation Ben :smiley: , i saw the pics on NT :laughing: Good job and keep up working :sunglasses: