So it’s been a minute since I did a sketchbook drop, more like months, but I am back with one!
With tomorrow being Marathon Monday, I couldn’t help but start sketching a new running shoe. One thing that has been on my mind as of late is why have we not seen a Nike Free 1.0? Every year we get a new 3.0, 4.0, 5.0 and sometimes a 7.0 but yet nothing below 3.0? I don’t understand it as it seems like it would be one of the most important models as it establishes what the Free line is based off of. For those of you unaware, Nike has a scale for how the free line works. It ranges from 0-10. 0 represents the barefoot and 10 is the common shoe. So 1.0 would be the most minimal shoe without being barefoot.
With that in mind, I started sketching.
In the beginning I was focusing on making a lower midsole but I felt that was too typical so I kept pushing it. While it is not completely finessed and I am refining it for the final design and rendering, the concept behind the shoe is to direct inject a blend of Phylon and rubber nodes on to a fabric strobel board that is stitched directly the upper. The idea is that the fabric will expand with your foot as it splays and flexes, and so to will the direct injected nodes, therefore the midsole reacts with your foot. So instead of being a solid plane that is between your foot and the ground, the nodes become extensions of your foot and allow your feet to still have complete control of your stride.
For the upper I am developing a lycra skin that features silicone screenprints on the back side of it that have texture to them, making them tactile. As your foot moves inside the shoe, the friction of the movement will catch on to the silicone and lock the upper in place becoming a second skin that adapts to you.
As I finesse the design, I am really working on the pattern of the silicone as I want that to be the visual focal point of the shoe.
Make sure you come back to see the final version of my Free 1.0.