Had a little time this weekend so I thought I’d go back and start re photographing some of my old shoes that ent to production that I didn’t have great photography of.
Anyone else have some shoes they designed from the archives that they want to share?
This was the Jordan Highrise from 2008. I think this was my highest seller at about 300k pairs in the first quarter. It also was the first shoe in a long time in Jordan to have a visible Air Max bag and it also featured zoom air in the forefoot. The icons on the bottom symbolized each of the teams Michael Jordan beat for his championship rings. At the time Jason Mayden and I were on the design team and D’Wayne Edwards was the Design Director and all of us loved those little story telling details. The factory was not super excited about the laces going under the overlay on the tongue where the Jumpman symbol is welded. I cut up a sample to show them it could be done, but once I saw them producing thousands of them on an assembly line I saw what a pain it was. So for the second quarter when we did MP2 a revised the lounge to not do that so it was easier to produce. Instead it just had two traditional slits for the laces to pass through there instead of going under the entire panel. The effect was 80% the same. Probably only designers would really see the difference. Also, MJ hated toecaps for some reason, but every once in awhile we could get one on a team shoe like this and he would let it slide.
Awesome shoe, I think alot of this storytelling has become a bit of a lost art in footwear these days. It’s definitely one of the points that D’Wayne continues to drive home at Pensole, so hopefully the newer generation can continue to carry the torch!
One of my favorite projects I worked on at Clarks was this “Lution” shoe. We wanted to see if leather could be molded into a heel cup, and after a lot of experimenting in the factory we ended up with this design. We wanted to minimize manufacturing step, and I believe we got this down to 12 steps or so? The butt seam runs from heel to toe so that you’re actually standing on the leather (no footbed). Eva midsole with a super soft foam insert and rubber pods for the construction. We all felt like we were on to something special, but boy was it a pain to get made!
That Clark’s is neat. Reminds me of the Nike Superfly B construction. I’ve got a few pairs but never chopped up to see how the lasting is done with the visible butt seams along the top line of the midsole.
…Where do I start… almost 20 years worth of footwear…! Will dig into the archives tomorrow to post some.
We also definitely need to start an unreleased shoe sample thread while we are at it. MD I saw you had some interesting ones recently on insta…
Beautiful design Zavesky! I really like the (perceived) simplicity of that construction. Same reason I’ve been a big fan of Trippen ever since I found out about them. Lots of inspiration to be found in the shoes they’ve created over the years. Some of their design have a similar heel counter.
My first (released 2011) and last (released 2015) shoes for SKORA. I also created the brand and did all the development, packaging and marketing on the project.
FORM was one of two first models for the new minimal performance running brand. The design was really a challenge to the status quo of what running shoes look like and how they are built. The outsole and tread is very different from traditional running shoes and features a rounded heel, and concave forefoot to mimic the foot, under a zero drop EVA midsole. The upper is 100% leather, using Pittards performance Goat leather over sheepskin lining. The shoe was designed to literally fit like a glove (the sheepskin leather is traditionally used for glove making) with asymmetric lacing, velcro heel pull and custom last shape.
TEMPO was the evolution of the brand language and performance construction. While still zero drop, the CM EVA midsole has more cushioning, and with a more minimal co-molded rubber tread design. The upper is super lightweight mesh, with no sew overlays and strategically placed microfiber reinforcements and collar lining. Fit again with asymmetric lacing and custom last shape.
I’ve also always loved your Skora work, Richard. All the small details and textures you incorporated, as well as the attention to the materials, great to see it posted here again. I’d love to hear how you look back on your Skora experience, the highs and the lows. I just had a look at the insta, and it seems like the brand has changed direction quite a bit?
Love these! Using the red thread of the dot/perforation in different aspects of the design really tie everything together and give it that breezy lightweight feel. It must have been tought to get those details so precisely placed!
he direction now, is indeed different. It’s no longer run by the founder and I haven’t worked for SKORA as mentioned since 2015 or so…
Dots were indeed part of the brand design language from the beginning. A moire pattern was a part of the brand DNA and used on everything from posters to boxes to outsole tread to insole patterns and 3M reflective print patterns and across different models.
Here’s some from 2003 from my archives. A few different trail running shoes and outsoles some common DNA in the outsole lug pattern. A few uppers (and midsoles) were also cross category road running styles I moved to trail with different color and material treatments and outsole rubber designs.
This was a fun one, had the brief to do an athletic inspired sandal. Decided to attempt an EVA wedge. Had to work pretty closely with the developer to get our durometers right. The first few prototypes compressed like marshmallows. It was also my first time working with proportions for women’s sandals, I never realized how dead on the measurements had to be for these styles!