Author Topic: Parkour Shoe Concepts  (Read 56116 times)

Offline VD23

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Parkour Shoe Concepts
« on: November 29, 2008, 12:01:56 AM »
Hey All,

I wanted to get in here and pick all of your brains concerning shoes for Parkour. Some of you may have seen or remember this concept I did a few years back :http://www.tonyhardman.com/Puma_Parkour_Concept.php

For those asking, no it is not going to be produced, does not exist, and can not be purchased. Ever. LOL

The concept is a bit far fetched in terms of the modular aspect. It would not only be expensive as hell (which nobody wants for shoes that are gonna get beat) but it may also cause stability issues.

That Being said, I decided to start over and do something for Nike but keeping the split toe idea- which I still feel is valid, unique and relevant for Parkour.

I have a few rough sketches/ideas here that I started:





Things I took into consideration:

-flat rubber one piece bottom for the most contact/surface area for traction

-Internal shank for midfoot rigidity without slippery plastic that causes slipping

-Mostly anti-abrasive mesh upper for breathability, flexibility and durability

-External welded overlays on the toe to increase durability even more, but configured to allow maximum flexibility.

-monomesh tent over the top of the foot to reduce vamp and lace wear

As I am developing this, I am thinking about making it overlasted (midsole is inside the upper) to reduce visible wear to the midfoot and provide more of a hug fit. Also, I was thinking a neoprene sock on the inside (comfort/fit) with flywire and mesh upper (abrasion/support) and a mirrored logo/swoosh for an urban camo (think similar to the Predator). I am thinking to add internal air at the forefoot to reduce impact from high jumps and maybe something more responsive like zoom air in the heel....somewhat the opposite of many running shoes where there is more heel impact than forefoot...I dont think it should be visible air though based on the other thoughts for contrsuction.

I would like to generate some good discussion and you guys could provide me with basically a "focus group" so i could design the best shoe possible. It is my dream to design for Nike someday, and I think that could happen soon. If it does, I would like to have something to present them with based on your feedback to legitimize it and bring you all a hot shoe for what you do that will keep you safe and agile.

Positive and negative feedback welcome! Thanks in advance for any help!

Also- is abrasion resistance an issue on the top of the foot? Do you drag your foot over cement surfaces ever? This may not need to be a focus.

-TH

« Last Edit: November 29, 2008, 12:06:38 AM by VD23 »

Offline Jereme Sanders

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Re: Parkour Shoe Concepts
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2008, 07:46:07 AM »
just ran through your post, as for the last part things like rolls and one foot precisions can sometimes wear the sides near the front of the shoe
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Offline Casquinha

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Re: Parkour Shoe Concepts
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2008, 08:11:58 AM »
You might consider a velcro closure or cover for the laces.  Depending on the environment, exposed laces can snag.
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Offline Tyler Morita

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Re: Parkour Shoe Concepts
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2008, 08:18:12 AM »
This is more of a personal thing, but I feel like there's too much rubber.  The lighter, flexier, and more fivefingers-like it is, the happier I'd be!  Maybe you can figure a way to marry extremely light and flexible shoes that fit like a sock with rad shock absorption?

And no, I've never worn out the top of my shoe doing pk...

Offline Mark Toorock

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Re: Parkour Shoe Concepts
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2008, 09:03:58 AM »
Welcome Tony! Your Puma prototype is sick and definitely made some waves in the PK communities!

Our site is sponsored by K-SWISS, maybe you could send an application their way? :)

The over under through logo looks much better on a parkour shoe than that silly swoosh thing anyway!!

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Offline Chris Kessler

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Re: Parkour Shoe Concepts
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2008, 11:02:37 AM »
All I can say is "WOW" for your Puma concept. It was superbly done (the concept as well as the graphic design)!

To Mark: Yes, K-Swiss would benefit by having a designer like Tony

To Tony: While I can see the perks of the Nike shoe that you have created, I can not get over the Puma design. I'd like to see more of that incorporated in this new shoe. I like the high support. Looks safe and flexible all at once. I also really like the no lace look you had going. While I understand that the actual materials used in your concept are indeed bound to be expensive, I feel they could easily be substituted for cheaper elastic-like materials (not being at all an expert in the field, take this is just general input). I do like the added toe support you've added in the Nike shoe. I find that in the shoes I've worn, The Ariake and a cheap New Balance, most of the wear and tear came in the toe area. This is from precisions and cat clings, tic-tacs, etc; as Mark has said before, they are the 'friction moves.' Also, in the last few months of using my new balances, they developed tears on the outside of the shoe that were caused by, and I'm just guessing here, the simple fact of constant use and constant bending of the toes.

I'm glad we have such an intuitive shoe designer out there aiming to aid us! Thanks Tony!
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Offline Broc

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Re: Parkour Shoe Concepts
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2008, 11:37:40 AM »
i personally like that its nike  ;D
i've been wondering when nike would actually produce a free running shoe

Offline BandGeek

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Re: Parkour Shoe Concepts
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2008, 11:38:31 AM »
I love it, the K-swiss logo would look great on those.

If you could make it in an urban camo design, I would seriously die of awesomeness.

Offline Mathew C

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Re: Parkour Shoe Concepts
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2008, 11:43:26 AM »
One thing to keep in mind is that traceurs and freerunners are like runners or other athletes - some of us overpronate, some suppinate, some have narrow feet, some have very wide feet, etc. It would be ideal if this shoe were available in different models, just like runners have available to them.

Offline Alex B

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Re: Parkour Shoe Concepts
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2008, 01:13:05 PM »
looks like you put a lot of thought into the design of these concepts. they look great and sound like they would feel great to do some parkour in. too bad theyre just concepts...
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Offline xXavierx

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Re: Parkour Shoe Concepts
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2008, 02:23:05 PM »
I like the thought and well planned out structure of the puma shoes a lot. Impressive at the amount of thought that went into both.

Offline NickMc

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Re: Parkour Shoe Concepts
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2008, 03:49:55 PM »
One thing to keep in mind is that traceurs and freerunners are like runners or other athletes - some of us overpronate, some suppinate, some have narrow feet, some have very wide feet, etc. It would be ideal if this shoe were available in different models, just like runners have available to them.
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Offline Sat Santokh

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Re: Parkour Shoe Concepts
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2008, 04:01:12 PM »
I don't think its cost effective for anybody to provide that kind of choice for any shoe company, demand just isn't high enough

Offline Graham Hughes

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Re: Parkour Shoe Concepts
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2008, 04:56:42 PM »
The key aspects I (and, I imagine, most traceurs) look for in a shoe are grip, durability, flexability, and weight.  It looks like you've taken most of these things into account, which is awesome!  To be more specific:

I decided to start over and do something for Nike but keeping the split toe idea- which I still feel is valid, unique and relevant for Parkour.
Sounds like a great idea.  I think we've all been dying to see a split-toe sneaker on the market.  That would do wonders for our sensitivity, rail contact, and general bad-assedness.

-flat rubber one piece bottom for the most contact/surface area for traction
Excellent!  Reminds me of the sole on my ariakes!

-Internal shank for midfoot rigidity without slippery plastic that causes slipping

-Mostly anti-abrasive mesh upper for breathability, flexibility and durability

-External welded overlays on the toe to increase durability even more, but configured to allow maximum flexibility.

-monomesh tent over the top of the foot to reduce vamp and lace wear
Durability and flexabilty rarely seem to balance well, but it looks like you're taking every effort to do them both justice.  Thanks!

I am thinking to add internal air at the forefoot to reduce impact from high jumps and maybe something more responsive like zoom air in the heel....somewhat the opposite of many running shoes where there is more heel impact than forefoot...I dont think it should be visible air though based on the other thoughts for contrsuction.
Emphasis on the ball of the foot is a good idea, but overall I'd say cushioning is one of the less important aspects.  Nice to have, yes, but it will never be a substitute for proper technique.

Also- is abrasion resistance an issue on the top of the foot? Do you drag your foot over cement surfaces ever? This may not need to be a focus.
I've found the toe and sides of the foot occaisionally take some wear, but overall it's not a huge deal.  I wouldn't sweat it.


General thoughts:
It seems as if you've put a lot of thought and effort into making this as traceur-friendly as possible.  It's got good grip, durability, and flexability.  MY only concern is the weight.  Until I've got the thing in my hands (or on my feet, preferably) it's hard to tell exactly how hefty these things'll be.  Anything you can do to make it as light as possible would be fantastic!  Good luck with this, hope to see it on the market in the future!

Offline Mathew C

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Re: Parkour Shoe Concepts
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2008, 05:08:58 PM »
One thing to keep in mind is that traceurs and freerunners are like runners or other athletes - some of us overpronate, some suppinate, some have narrow feet, some have very wide feet, etc. It would be ideal if this shoe were available in different models, just like runners have available to them.
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Offline NickMc

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Re: Parkour Shoe Concepts
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2008, 05:13:54 PM »
One thing to keep in mind is that traceurs and freerunners are like runners or other athletes - some of us overpronate, some suppinate, some have narrow feet, some have very wide feet, etc. It would be ideal if this shoe were available in different models, just like runners have available to them.
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Offline VD23

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Re: Parkour Shoe Concepts
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2008, 09:41:02 PM »
Thanks for the feedback guys! This helps a lot. It can be confusing to balance the different personal preferences but I will try to strike the best balance possible with the reality that you can't please everybody.

Mark- Thanks! I had no idea the site was K-swiss sponsored. Maybe not a good place to post this :p ! Props to them for embracing the Parkour community and stepping up to make an effort towards making a good shoe. Sounds like a lot of you are feelin it. Now it's time to push the limits a bit, create something that is more identifiable and iconic for traceurs from a construction standpoint, and create a sense of competition within the market which will ultimately bode well for the product ;)

Chris- Thanks a lot! The Puma was actually a low cut (with poor proportions lol). The higher cut you see is actually the split toe sock inside the shoe. It's the same color so that was my bad on making it clear.

Bandgeek: I was actually thinking of doing a mirrored logo that reflects the surrounding environment, (being that Parkour involves self-reflection with respect to self-improvement and overcoming obstacles as a traceur and in life) which was my "urban camo" the way the Predator alien created it's camo by mirroring it's surroundings. That's what I was talking about with the whole urban camo thing. Did you have any specific ideas for "urban" camo???

T-Rex- I think it is important just to get a foothold in the market first while parkour grows. Down the road I'm sure there would be the type of expansion you mentioned which is always better. Great thoughts.

Graham- Thanks for the great feedback!

I have been looking at several different things over the weekend. I would LOVE to use Kevlar on this shoe (mostly in the toe), but ultimately it would just be too expensive to execute, so there's no point. As an alternative, I have been looking at a mixture of a neoprene sock with some anti abrasive meshes like you would find in clothing used for protection in motorcycling. The other thing I am trying is some raised rubber-like welds on the toe area to deflect surfaces that would typically cause friction. (as seen on these nikes I posted)  Light weight is definitely a focus, and I think the use of flywire will definitely achieve that. I'll have some new stuff up soon for you guys to check out and weigh in on. Thanks again yo!

-TH





Offline VD23

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Re: Parkour Shoe Concepts
« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2008, 03:57:28 AM »
Something like this...


Offline Graham Hughes

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Re: Parkour Shoe Concepts
« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2008, 07:37:56 AM »
Now that is one sexy shoe.

Offline Chris Kessler

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Re: Parkour Shoe Concepts
« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2008, 08:05:23 AM »
Now that is one sexy shoe.

Very much agreed.

I like the thought you've put into the toe area. That has always been my problem of worry. And not just the VERY front of the shoe, but the entire 180° of the toe area.

I like the idea of a snug fitting shoe. Something that can meld to your foot as if you weren't really wearing them. This nike shoe is definitely a step in the right direction.
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