Team Concept: Nike Kendo UPDATE

This tennis shoe was done for the team concept thread on KG by Tony Hardman and I. The name Kendo, means “way of the sword” in Japanese.
Inspiration: The inspiration of the shoe is Samurais. We thought this was fitting because of the similarites between the movements of tennis players and samurais. The reaction to on opponents blow or an opponents swing of the racket is very similar. We translated the samurai theme into the shoe through:
-Dragon’s claw inspired lateral support structure on heel.
-Diamond ventilation cuts on the tongue, diamond alphaproject dots, and diamond outsole. All taken from the diamonds on the hilts of katanas (samurai swords).
-Yin-Yang logo on heel.
-Chain mail vent on medial side taken from the armor worn.
-Eyelet taken from the decorations on the top of samurai helmets.
-Titanium Laminate on bottom of the shoe (yellow portion under arch, extends all the way to the toe) above the outsole is designed to deflect heat coming up for the court the way armor would deflect a sword.

The shoe uses a removable outsole system that allows you to change traction patterns depending on what type of court you are playing on. To take out the outsole you would first un-velcro the removable lateral support strap, and use the plastic end to undo the 5 screws on the outsole (screws would go into titanium laminate). There are 3 different outsoles, one for grass (dimpled pattern), one for clay (herringbone), and one for indoor (diamond pattern). More views to come on the outsoles, but you get the idea. At the toe area of the outsole plates there is a hard TPU toe cap that extends up to protect against toe-drag and secure the toe area of the plates. The shoes also have heel and forefoot zoom air units.

A quick drawing of how the strap would velcro on the shoe and take out screws.

A picture of a Katana:

All feedback good or bad welcome!

ak47celtics: Hi!Are you a designer or a student?
I really like your design, the inspiration of the samuraii is well expressed on the shoe( Kendo)…by the way, nice name. I like the samouraii and the way that you guys made a really good similarity with the movements of the tennis player and the one of the samouraii.
I don’t really know about the removable outsole… if people will really needs to replace or change it.It’s just my opinion…what do you think?

Nevertheless, the Kendo is really nice and i can feel that you guys spent a lot of time on it.


the idea is nice,you could play tennis in whatever kind of floor.

but i think you may to develope better this idea,for example, this sole is fixed with four points right,what happend with the center sole when you flex the foot in a normal movement,and the toe sole is not fixed?,i need to see more details.

kind regards.

Flight: I am a student, but the person I worked with is a designer.

Usually when you’re playing on different tennis courts the players would have to wear different shoes to get the best traction or not to hurt the court. For example on a grass court you would wear a shoe with a light dimpled pattern to prevent tearing up the grass. But this type of traction wouldn’t be fitting on clay court because it would rub off too quickly. We wanted to combine all the different traction patterns into a revive-like shoe, so that tennis players wouldn’t have to have 3 different shoes, 1 for each court.

Thanks for the comment! I really like your ZK5 design.

Billymenut: There are actually 5 points. The toe is secured because a hard TPU toe cap wraps up over the top of the toe to prevent toe drag, but in the process it would also secure the toe area because it would prevent that outsole portion from coming down. You can see this a little in the 3/4 view of how the strap works.
We thought the middle portion would be secure because of the force of the straps pulling the outsoles OUT : Tightly spreading them across the bottom, and the force of the screws pulling the outsole IN: tightly pulling the outsole up to your foot. Though maybe we could’ve put a screw in the midfoot or toe for extra security. Thanks for your comment!


Overall this is a very well thought out concept that is nicely presented. Good work! What level are you in school again?

I have two points though:

  1. it looks very conventional. Technically this would be an advanced project, but aesthetically it looks looks like things on the market now. You might want to communicate to the consumer that is more of an advanced idea

  2. this idea is in production in a tennis shoe called the Nike Revive, which doesn’t use any cumbersome or potentially dangerous hardware, it is all snap fit. Now that you are aware of this, I’d like to see what you would do to push the concept even further…

“Nike revolutionizes tennis shoe design and performance with the Air Zoom Revive - the first ever tennis shoe with an interchangeable outsole system. The Air Zoom Revive comes with two sets of outsoles - one blue and one red. The outsole wraps up around the upper of the shoe, providing a secure and stable ride, while increasing toe and upper durability. Ideal for hard court players, once the initial set of outsoles has worn down, the player can revive the shoe with a completely fresh set of rubber. By switching between blue and red outsoles, players can also customize the shoes to match apparel etc. The inner shoe comprises a lightweight mesh upper for excellent ventilation and comfort. Nike’s Zoom Air offers a comfortable ride, with low profile and responsive cushioning.”

Yo, thank you for your comment!
I never realized the shoe could’ve had a more futuristic look to match it’s technology. I think the shoe ended up looking the way it does because we really tried to translate the samurai theme into the shoe. It would be interesting to see what the shoe looked like if it had combined the samurai theme and outsole plates, with a more futuristic look.
We actually had seen the Zoom Revive, that’s where I got the idea for the removable plates. I didn’t want to use the snap-fit for the outsoles because I’d read in the tennis-warehouse review that they didn’t seem to fit very well. The screw-idea was derived from the way screws are used on cleats, we thought that would be a very secure way to attach the outsoles, and an easy way to detach them. I agree though the screws may be heavy and cumbersome, maybe the titanium laminate would protect the foot from any danger by the screws though?
There are defenitely many ways to harness the outsole concept and design the shoe aesthetically. I’ll definitely try to put some more thought to that, and develop the concept. Again thanks for the comment! BTW, I’m 14…I also just want to say that the final rendering and presentation was done by TH.

ooops! ya 5points.but i think the same.

hey Yo do you know when nike is gonna launch this model in stores?

i love nike deatils.

you´re design skills are really nice for 14 years old,is time for learn technical skills,i know a lot of designers with less level than you have.


I’m pretty sure they already launched the Revive.

I can’t wait to get my hands on those revives! and my Wilson’s aren’t even close to the end :smiley:

I think the idea behind the Revive is great! I’ve always liked Nike “tennis” shoes over others, even though they never lasted as long as say… a Wilson, or a K-Swiss. It was ok since they out performed, but this new idea is icing on the cake! and it’s a great looking shoe.


Your concept comes across well, the presentation is great!
My only criticism to add would be about the lack of coverage offered by the outsole up front. An advanced player would wear through something like this very fast, especially the placement of your Velcro strap, which would stick out and be the first contact to the court in a hard slide (the trailing foot). Notice on the ‘Revive’ how the outsole material covers the entire front. this is very important. My comment may only mean more material on the inner surfaces and a slimmer strap. This would achieve similar coverage as the Air Oscillate which I would use as a minimum coverage example (these were great, but practically disposable)

Slightly off topic…

I thought it interesting that all of the Nike production images are shown with the shoe pointing to the left…while Yo, you mentioned in your shoe demo that typically Nike shows their concepts with the shoe facing right.

It would be facing right if you were wearing it. Was Yo referring to “viewer’s right” or “Model’s right”?

copyboy, thank you for your comment! I will keep your crits in mind.

I don’t think all Nike production pics are taken with the shoe pointing left…most of the ones on have the shoe pointing right.

Here’s an updated version of the shoe done by TH alone:

those are nice. i really do like the 2nd one better. but i personally like the black/yellow color combo on the 1st instead of red/black.

Great concept you’ve got going on here.
As an avid tennis player and a someone who tends to rock back on the ball of their ankle while serving (similar to Sampras :wink: ), I have to say that screw poking out the back is a little worrying. Would it be recessed a little into the shoe to prevent damage? Also I’m a little concerned that the areas of the sole that are replaceable are too limited. Looking at the sole of my old pair of sneaks I most wore out an area that would not be replaced with your disks. It may be more effective to make the replacement pathces a more irregular shape to guarantee that the main sole structure is not worn through.
In terms of overall design, I am definitely liking the latest revision, but like bohrdom I prefer the original color scheme. I’ve always considered tennis shoes to be some of the most “handsome” of the athletic shoes (if that makes sense) and your second one is definitely a “looker”
Keep it coming