Developing a collaborative design toolkit for the personalisation of running shoes

2013-03-06T11:58:35Z (GMT) by Matthew J. Head Samantha Porter
Sport footwear is an area where collaborative design is already happening with consumers able to personalise the aesthetics of their footwear using the internet. Aesthetics do not appear to be the consumers’ primary interest when purchasing running shoes; a need was identified for better fitting and performing running shoes than is currently available; a large number of consumers are also reluctant to purchase online, preferring to purchase from specialist running stores. In this paper the development of an in store personalisation service with a primary focus of delivering better fitting and performing footwear is detailed. Experts in biomechanics and additive manufacturing were consulted, and focus groups, interviews and surveys were conducted to ensure implementation of an effective service that empowered the consumer, putting them at the centre of a collaborative design process. A design toolkit was developed for the service (www.yourstep.co.uk) and tested online. The results are discussed and future developments defined. This research forms part of the Elite to High Street project, a five-year multi-million pound IMCRC-funded interdisciplinary project run by Loughborough University with industrial partners including; New Balance, UK Sport and 3D Systems.