Skateboarding Shoe Rendering

Here is a rendering of a mid-profile skateboarding shoe that Ive been working on. I wanted to create a simple design that protects A. the area of the toe used in ollies and kickflips and B. the laces(which are typically torn quickly). I see some possible problems both in terms of the rendering and the design, but I thought I’d get some feedback.

I have more to shoe both in terms of iterations and the story, which I will probably post later.

Thanks in advance for the help.

I like the functional thinking. The low down view is not as informative as a more traditional 3/4 would be. I also think you could use a rubber coated leather along the eyestay to better protect the laces, those vertical seams might just shred up on grip tape.

One of them needs to be made in the saddest shade of blue. :laughing:

The textured areas look sharp, esp the perforations on the toe area. The sole needs a little bit of that texture to make it seem as punchy.

Pretty nice. I like the thought you put into it performance-wise. Might even be cool to have the stripes as molded, raised underlays…or with raised areas to protect the quarter against abrasion during ollies. Keep exploring!


As far as the rendering goes, not bad. I would say, and I quote…“darker darks, lighter lights.”

Thanks for the critic. Ive been sketching a little bit for the next go around. In terms of the design, it’s probably going to be a challenge to maintain the simplicity of the last rendering while updating the functional aspects, but I’ll give it a shot.

Yo, is the upper of this boot what you mean by rubber coated leather, and if so, do you have any suggestions on how I should portray the material in a rendering.

I’ll scan in some of of the my sketches when i post the next rendering(which will be a more traditional 3/4 view).

Again, thanks for the advice, and i may be forced to include a blue colorway with the next iteration. Cyberdemon, exactly what shade of blue are tears?

According to photoshop: #041e8b


In regards to the toecap. Way too much rubber. Just slapping a large panel to protect the toe will greatly reduce flexibility. I’d suggest putting slits in the rubber to create more flexibility, If you want to see a skate shoe that did it all, check out the nike e-cue. The way the tpu was applied was absolutely genius. Remember to balance durability with function.

that shoe looks really sick, but i agree with a previous comment about too much rubber. i don’t know too much about designing shoes but i have been skateboarding for 9 years and functionality is usually number 1.

you have to know who you’re marketing the shoe to, is it the og’s that just want a simple shoe that feels natural, or is it the beginner 10 year old who’s mom number 1 concern is durability and pice.

a lot of cool stuff going into that shoe, i would say just kill that toe cap and keep everything else. hard leather will always outlast suede so that could def be an idea for durability.

for a while layers were everything in skate shoes…but over time people were discovering that more layers meant more problems. look at leo romero’s new pro model shoe by emerica, very clean and perfect to skate in.

i’m a graphic design major from kansas city so don’t take anything i say to seriously, i’ve only just begun to soak up ID. i dig your thinking, it’s def thinking outta the box…good stuff

lots of comments, some good suggestions…looking forward to seeing the next gen design. would maybe help to see a side view with a few callouts…


definitely, the angle it is at right now distorts/obscures too much of the design…the rendering is done quite well, the perspective may be a lil’ off; find a photo of a skate or similar shoe taken from a similar vantage point to get it close…

So, its been a while, but here is my update. First, thanks for all of the criticism, I think its paid off.

The purpose of this project, from my perspective, was to highlight my PS rendering skills and diversify my portfolio. I have to say, this project was alot of fun.

I do have one question though, is there anyway that the TPU overlay can be bonded to the leather quarter panel? If not, I’ll need to design in some seams. Let me know.

As you can see, Ive decided to keep the rubber on the toe. I think the added durability would be worth sacraficing flexibility. Plus, I think the covered toe helps to reinforce the feeling I am trying to portray here. I would really like to test this in a prototype.

In regards to the e-cue, I think there are alot of really cool things going on there, but I think its impossible to design anything that “does it all” for everyone. Let me put it this way, Ive seen alot of people skating(or just wearing skate shoes) over the years and I don’t remember ever seeing that shoe. With so many unique thing going on there, I would probably remember seeing it. No disrepect to shuphrk88 or to the designers of the e-cue. I honestly think that any skate shoe with a swoosh on the side is at an immediate disadvantage. This may be a case where a strong brand identity actually hinders Nike, but that’s just my opinion.

Thanks again for all of the comments, let me know what you think.

I think Nike fell into the game almost by accident. Before they did the SB brand (in 99 or 2000) they had Bam Margera ridind for them 10 years ago. Then at some point they came out with Savier skate shoes, which didn’t last long… i personally love skateboarding in Nike shoes, specifically the dunks. they’re simple and stylish, if you look back at skateboarding shoes before and after Nike came into the game, you’ll notice that Nike set the tone for what we see now…in terms of loud color ways. plus, they’ve got the best skateboarders in the world pushing it all. Nike SB is blowing up and i don’t see it slowing down anytime soon.

in response to your design. i like how you re worked the side, it flows nicely and the maroon stripes are now a functional addition…This shoe looks pretty cool. i just can’t get over the toe part.

what if: you made the entire toe out of rubber, but a more functional rubber that isn’t part of the outsole.

i’m all for rubber on the toe, i just can’t get over that this rubber is only covering the toe partially and it’s coming up from the outsole. i still think it could be revised. sorry…it’s a neat idea, i just find it hard to wanna skateboard in it. actually, you know what? i could see primarily “vert” skaters that would dig this. you should look into that market.

if you could pair this shoe with any brand who would it be? i wanna say DVS.


Great job explaining the concept,through your presentation, your imagery, and your renderings. You did an excellent job showing the concept and the physical design. The renderings look great and the proportions are nice and outsole view is great!

My only feedback would be that you study the Jack Purcell a bit more. The Jack uses an old form of shoe construction called vulcanization (also called autoclaving). Essentially the upper is placed on the molded rubber outsole and then pressed or extruded pieces of non cured rubber are affixed around the permitter of the shoe. This whole assembly is then baked in a high temperature steam oven called an autoclave (this is what your dentist uses to sterilize dental tools). During this process the rubber is cured directly to the shoe and outsole holding it all together. The shoe is on a metal last this entire time and the combination of heat and steam tends to shrink the shoe very tightly to the last form making the shoe nice and sleek…

So, the point of all that. You can easily achieve the rubber toe (like the Jack) but you will need to design in some part lines for the rubber (like the Jack or the Chuck), I also think their are some missed opportunities for detail worn on that side wall. Explore that as much as you did the upper.

Rawbin_ good comments but remember, not everyone wants to design or wear Nikes, it’s a big world.

I think this has come along nicely! I would like to see you brand it (you could even create your own) so it looks more finished and maybe even explore using some type of graphics which are popular in skate right now. Of course, that’s a project in itself, but just a thought to add dimension to your work. Nice job!


yo, i agree. not everyone likes nike and neither do i all the time. i was just trying to justify sb a little bit because, they got the reputation at first of being the monopoly driven wal-mart of skateboard shoes. however, after people gave them the chance and learned how nice they were for skateboarding, most had a change of heart.

silhouette, sorry if you feel like i’m bagging your design, which i certainly am not. i feel that in the light of all my negative whining i should say that your second render is great, the rubber out sole looks a lot more formed to the upper. i saw in one of your thumbnail renders a white/gum sole version, that’s my favorite.

i guess i got too excited earlier because this is the first time i’ve seen a skateboarding shoe in the discussions, it’s something that i felt i could put some fire into. although i am picky about my own shoes, i think this is a great design with quality thinking and reality behind it, and i could def see why a lot of people would like it. :smiley:

Well, thanks again for the comments. I would just like to say that if I didn’t want criticism I wouldnt post my work on a public forum… At the same time, I reserve the right to disagree with it. Like I said before, I think it’s impossible to please everyone, so i just try to do the best I can for my user group.

So, Rawbin, I never thought you were being overly negative. Honestly, I appreciate your enthusiasm.

In terms of branding, I purposely chose to avoid loud branding for two reasons. First, I’ve noticed that most “simple” shoes rely on some kind of branding for most of the detailing. I thought it would be challenging to create a “simple” shoe without branding that was still visually interesting. Second, a current trend in skate shoes is to use large logos and bold graphics. I think a future trend will be to ditch the bold in favor of more subtle detailing. This trend can already be seen through the popularity of the American Apparel brand amongst the scenester crowd.

At the same time, If i had to brand the shoe, I would either pick DVS or the Adio International collection.

Yo, thanks for the the lesson on vulcanization. You really clarified some
I have one more question about the the process. Can you vulcanize a shoe that has a heavily padded tongue and collar?

Now that I have a better understanding of the vulcanization process, I think you’re right about the missed opportunity for detailing. Unfortunately, Ive gotten to the part of the project where time has run out. So for now, this is the final result.

Again, thanks for the help… and for reading this pictureless novel.

Not a problem.

Always time to return to it later to tweak it.

I appreciate your approach, keeping the branding secondary. Many designs rely on the brand to sell them, I think the design should speak for itself and the brand should be the punctuation on a complete design statement.

check these out:

another way to look at it is the brand is part of the design. in my opinion, i believe the best designs work to further define the brand language and position. a brand is, after all, more than a logo, which is unfortunately how many brands/designs treat it.


skytops! very hot, my buddy owns a skate/snow boutique in kansas city, got the floral ones in and they all sold it in a few hours.

i’ve been posting some sketches in another discussion and have been working with proportions, i actually just used the skytops for an underlay last night, very cool shoes.