Tuesday, July 29, 2008

1-hour Bike Shoe Design Contest

Core77, the online design magazine / forum, is sponsoring a one-hour design contest for bicycle shoes. Go to the contest page and check out my design, based on the greenest shoes I know: Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars. The CCTAS, according to Wikipedia, has sold over 750 million pairs between 1917 (the year of their introduction) and the year 2000. They are a true American design classic, and pretty green to boot. Chucks don't need much to be pretty versatile shoes for commuting & c. They don't have much cushion, but you don't want that on a bike anyway. The high-tops (always the preferred style) give you lots of lace-up options as to ankle support. Now if I could find someone to make carbon-fiber orthotics!

Update: I did find someone making carbon-fiber orthotics. This idea makes more sense the more I think about it. The expensive part (the orthotic insole) lasts; the inexpensive part (the outer shoe) gets replaced as it wears out (or as you get tired of the color scheme). Hey, this isn't such a silly idea after all! I deserve honorable mention at least!

Update 2: I'm afraid I may be looking like a suck-up. One of the judges of this design contest is from Nike, and Nike bought Converse some time back. Here's an interesting essay on CTAS and Nike's purchase of same.

Update 3: The judge picked me as number 2 (out of 46) submissions from professional product designers. I don't feel bad about this at all. Here's what he said: "I could have used this shoe this morning. Perfect for all the fixed gear riders weaving there way through a downtown near you. Simple, Stylish and Functional. Watch out for those laces. A place to tuck them under a flap or tongue top would be a nice touch."

Update 4: The people at my office want me to put up a step-by-step description of what I did in Vectorworks, so I started a new "Vectorworks Tips & Tricks" blog for this purpose. I've posted the step-by-step here.


Willie said...

How did you render the Chuck with the CF soleplate and SPD cleat? If it was 3D CAD (e.g. Vectorworks), then I appreciate the attention to detail. Especially the laces.

I thought the comment of the judge was funny, especially his apparent association of the CTAS with a fixed-gear rider :-)

Robert Anderson said...

Willie, the image was done in Vectorworks, but it's all a mashup with imagery and vector art. No 3Ds were killed in the making of this image.

The design contest was supposed to be done in one hour (obviously this constraint was, um, "finessed" by a lot of the entries, including in a likelihood the winning one.) My entry was 45 minutes in the making, including the time online at converse.com to color up the Chuck and to Google and download the carbon-fiber texture and the cleat image.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the add of "Bike&Chain" to your preferred blogs. Last year saw the 10th anniversary of my project start, which I commemorated by curating an art show. Although only during November, 2009, you can still visit virtually at...