Shoe Design: Sketch to Prototype

I’m currently at the prototyping stage of my first shoe design.
I put up a brief portfolio here:
I’m having a tech pack made and I’ll submit that to the company I’m in talks with to produce a physical prototype. I started a FundRazr through Paypal to help cover the cost. Just wanted some feedback and some suggestions on how to spread my FundRazr, as I don’t mean to come here advertising. Here’s the link:

I also made a homebrew sample to wear test. I’ll dig through some pics and upload them.

Reminds me of the McFlys and the Yezzys

Just wanted some feedback and some suggestions on how to spread my FundRazr, as I don’t mean to come here advertising.

We appreciate that.

Want to hear the single most 100% real, constructive and harsh critique of your life? Buckle up.

Is this single sketch the only thing that you have to show and tempt people to donate?

A) The sketch is bad. Very bad. This is the only thing you have to advertise your idea with (along with a poorly worded description). Since this is all you have, your sketch had better be jaw dropping amazing. It isn’t.
B) What motive are you presenting people to donate to you, other than “please”? Usually, with Kickstarter, you offer people something back for their money. In this case, I’m just donating to your pocket so you can have something? I think I’ll keep my $20.
C) Have you done any research whatsoever into this at all? I am 100% sure you haven’t, but let’s pretend I’m wrong. List 10 manufacturing processes (and the materials) which are necessary for the manufacture of this shoe. Even if you use Google for this, you’ll have already done more work than you already have done.
D) How did you arrive at the cost of $3,000? Is this what quoted you at? A shoe prototype does not cost $3,000. Sure, it can cost $3,000. But for this project, it won’t.

Description from one of the links (the other link is a dead end, simply takes you to a login screen):
“I find myself unprepared to start a company, but creating a prototype is vital for this project to continue. Help me create a physical pair to put into the hands of investors and eventually onto the feet of customers.”

Let’s break this down…

“I find myself unprepared to start a company,”
-OK, so you are unprepared to start a company. Understood. Starting a company involves all that hard stuff like working. Who would ever want to do that? Sounds real tough with different things and stuff involved.
“but creating a prototype is vital for this project to continue.”
-But, you say you want to make a prototype. OK, got it. Generally, people create prototypes in order to test it, refine it, and then go to production. Otherwise, its called a piece of artwork, a one off, which is not being considered for production. So since you don’t want to start a company
“Help me create a physical pair to put into the hands of investors and eventually onto the feet of customers.”
-Then you go on to say you want to put this prototype in front of investors and onto the feet of customers… which leads us to believe, you’d be starting a company. Or would you be giving these sneakers away for free?

Someone has got to speak some reality here. This is a perfect example of terrible. It couldn’t be worse. Let me clarify, I never discourage people or put down the abilities of others. Some people can sketch really really well, some are only OK, some practice hard. This issue here is there is absolutely zero effort put into it. I have no experience whatsoever with baking cakes from scratch. But I bet I could create a better fundraiser within 60 minutes which somehow is related to me baking cakes and asking for strangers’ money. I find the lack of effort embarrassing.


Absolutely no.

Delete everything related to this project permanently. Restart. Put in a minimum of 400 hours into the project. Then show up here with something, anything, and we’ll provide feedback.

A quote I stole/revised from Lew…

“Money for nothing… but your kicks WON’T be for free”

I appreciate the hostility.

My feedback is that there is not a lot here to give feedback on.

Who is this product for? Where would it be sold? What is the use (lifestyle or performance?) What are the factors leading to the over exaggerated quarter panels? What does the top look like? What does the bottom look like? What does the back look like? What are the different colors and materials?

I suppose amusing you has some value, but Taylor is a very experienced professional who has brought successful softgoods products to market many times. It would behove you to read through it and take the input. What would be fantastic is if you angle and instead focused on posting more work and getting feedback as you go. Many others have used this forums for that to much success.

The link to your portfolio doesn’t work for me.

I have to chime in here to echo the given feedback.

Aside from the lack of research, business, branding, target market focus, etc. what you have now is not a design. It’s a few lines in the vague shape of a shoe. It’s impossible to comment much as I don’t even know what I’m looking at. How’s it made? Where are the stitches? What are the different parts made of? Why are there wings, or is it just out of proportion?

That being said, the basic principle you are looking at doesn’t make sense. No decent fty is going to make a prototype for you unless you are ready for production. It’s just not how the industry works (if you want more info, check out a FAQ doc I have on my website “

Even if you somehow found a factory (which I’m guessing you won’t as you obviously are not in the industry and good factories don’t advertise on alibaba), it take far more than a drawing anywhere close to this level to get a prototype. Even with a good design and tech pack, you’ll at best get a rough first sample that requires development, understanding of construction, pattern engineering, etc. If someone says they can do all that from your sketch for $3000 you are being ripped off.

You are getting genuine comments here, and if you know anything about how these forums work you would understand that it’s not meant as a roast, but real, honest feedback.


Leaving aside my visceral reaction and reducing this down to the base concept.

Six months from now, lets say you have a perfectly made, industrialized, professionally specified shoe sample from your design. What next?

I heard from a Nike designer years ago that they are not even allowed to open up mail from unknown contacts due to getting sued years ago by a lawyer who claimed his under ten year old daughter sent in a design and Nike “copied” it. Huge corporations have tens of thousands of designs in the files, they are not going to take the risk by looking at your design because they have a half dozen in the drawer that are likely similar.

Since you are crowd funding it, it is already public domain, NDA will not make sense, and big companies don’t sign them.

Shoe companies are not looking for style designs from the public. They are not meeting with designers walking in the door with sample shoes. Commercial introduction of a sample shoe seems like more than a very long shot.

As I see it you are left with an avenue such as establishing a reputation like Noritaka Tatehana and having a select clientele like Lady Gaga that can afford to pay for one off works of art.