Senior Design Project/ Football Cleat

Hey whats up everyone, I am currently working on my senior design thesis project and i’m about half way through the design pert of it.
My whole project is based on redesigning a football cleat, my whole thesis was the issue of football players spatting their cleats, which is taping over their cleats and the issues relating to it such as injuries and restrictions of wearing braces underneath.

So i was just looking for some outside feedback on some of my concepts and designs and also any suggestions that i can get.
For the final i have to have all of my renderings, drawings, boards and etc. I also have to make a final model so i am open to
any suggestions in that department. I was thinking of 3D like rhino or solid works and having it 3D printed or making a physical
model from yellow foam and other materials.


you can check out some of my progress at my coroflot.

First off, I like that your picking a football cleat. A lot of people design basketball or running shoes, so it’s good that you’re picking something different. Now on to my thoughts.

Originality. Right off the bat I can tell which shoes you’re referencing in your sketches. It just looks like you took bball shoes and added cleats on the bottom. I try to make it a personal policy never to reference other shoes in terms of aesthetics. What inspires the look? Think about every part and how it interacts with every other part.

Research. What are these issues and injuries you’re talking about that relate to the taping of the cleats? Did you interview players and coaches about the topic? Did you try on a pair of cleats and tape them to see how it felt? These are important issues to resolve because the information will help you find your design opportunities.

Depth of work. What are the features that solve the problem you mentioned? What materials are used? Footwear is all in the details, from the layering of the panels to the spacing of the eyelets.

In regards to a final model, I had this problem when I was doing my thesis as well. To be quite honest, unless you have access to equipment, or have a contact who wouldn’t mind making a prototype for you, it just doesn’t seem feasible to make a final appearance model that you can wear as well. The closest I came was taking a big hunk of foam and carving it into a final appearance model. Obviously you couldn’t wear it, but it looked accurate in terms of proportions and details. However, if you’re able to mock up a model that illustrates a feature, you could always buy a pair of cleats (or have someone donate a pair to you) and cut it up. I had a fit system on my design that I wanted to showcase so I took a pair of running shoes, and made duct tape panels to illustrate the feature.

In regards to 3d modeling, unless you are really good at it, I wouldn’t recommend it. Softgoods are made from patterns, not 3d printers or molds. Designers rarely make a 3d model, so to me it wouldn’t make sense to do it.

I’ll be honest, this needs a lot of work, but it’s your thesis, it’s supposed to take a lot of work. Use core to ask questions. Learn as much as you can about how footwear is made. Check out places like, which has articles where the designers dissect their designs and talk about all the details that make up the final concept.

These are just my thoughts, feel free to agree or disagree. Good Luck!

thanks for the comments and thoughts. I do really appreciated everything and i am always open top suggestions and comments there is never any bad criticism and i always look to take things and push them through and to thrive off of feedback. The sketches that i do have up were some basic and first sketches that were rough. i have a ton more that i will be posting that are more design and performance driven and for a reason. I had all of spring semester for my research and did plenty of it and had a whole presentation and booklet but its hard to communicate it all without me telling the story. I have interviewed coaches, players and trainers about all of the issues that exist. I was a football & lacrosse player so i have personal experience with this issue that is why i decided to tackle this issue.

Flightposite 2.

You are walking on thin ice. I’ve made similar mistakes as a student.


my designs have changed and advanced since those sketches. I was using them for inspirational sketches and I didnt like the flightposite at all
after drawing it out… and the hyperfuse was used for exploration of possible materials used.

have you seen this project?

thanks Mike!!!

That’s pretty wild with just 4 massive sized cleats for the main part of the bottom outer sole cleated plate.
I have been trying to figure out different ways to design the cleated part of my football cleat as well. thats
some cool inspiration

Hey Mike!

Cool project… Where do you stand on this now? Mind showing some of your latest process?


This is my progress so far and this is the point that I am at right now. I still have a lot of work to do and most of it is in the details
of everything that goes into this cleat from the bootie system to the exact shapes of the cleats and the materials that would be used.

I am open for any comments and suggestions.

My first concern is the shape of the bootie. It looks like a sock, which may provide a secure fit, but would be a pain to get your foot in there. An example would be the nike air zoom ultraflight.

I think you should push beyond the expected. This looks like a very good contemporary cleat… but Nike already has these in development and they have guys that can design current cleats. Design what comes next, and what comes after next! Give more context, don’t just give us the what, give us the who, what, where, when, and how.

You have to stop drawing the things you wished you had designed and start designing the things that have yet to be.

I might be spewing rubbish, but how about focusing on the upper/cleat interface? Right now there hasn’t been anything particularly outstanding when it comes to integrating the foot and the cleat platform to make the shoe feel like a natural extension of the foot.

EDIT: I think a major avenue for innovation would be the cleat pattern/construction/material use. Maybe inspiration can be had from other sports like soccer (Nike’s Nikesense and Lotto’s TwistNGo) or track and field (like football, requires explosiveness and aggressiveness)

Final Design for the project was completed in august 2010, I never really got the chance to repost the final designs. So most of my work for the final designs are on my coroflot.

I have worked on it a little bit since I completed it, I wish there was more time to fully explore the entire cleat design, but I was limited to a short time frame over the summer. I am going to continue to try and develop it a bit further.

Leave any comments of feedback and some likeys and comments on coroflot would be great for the exact design or image.!!