I’ve worn Nikes all my life, and am well versed on their innovative technologies. I have also read and watched countless sneaker reviews in various sneaker categories(basketball, running, football, etc.). Originally, I wanted to be a designer for Nike, and I’ve flirted with the idea of designing sneakers. Here’s a personal project where I put all my footwear expertise into designing for a Nike signature player.
My favorite current NBA player, Giannis Antetokounmpo, is getting his first signature shoe line from Nike this year. I wanted to create a concept shoe for the occasion, and tasked myself as a product designer for this personal project.
For inspiration and research, I looked at Giannis’ play style, body, and footwear he has worn in the past. Nicknamed “The Greek Freak,” for his extreme frame, the design needed to compliment his features as well as protect his feet. He is a 2-way player typically running up and down to court for fast breaks, and can get to the basket from half court in roughly three steps. His most common moves being the euro-step(a difficult side-step) and a spin move. The footwear he has been wearing stems from the Kobe Bryant line which entails light-weight, low-cut and responsive cushion.
Images via Google/Screenshots via Youtube.
I found difficulty in choosing the technology that could be put into the shoe. Along with player persona, Nike’s tech is a contributing factor to the shoe’s budget. Keeping the shoe budget friendly while maintaining the design aspects pertinent to Giannis' design was a challenge. More tech comes at a higher price.
I’ve tried to reach out to Giannis and Nike through social media with no luck. It’s a farfetched dream, but If I ever get the chance for this shoe to come into fruition it’d change my path for sure. It’s not where I would want to go now, but something that would be fun to do. I know having a tangible product would differ from what I have on paper. It’s hard to ever say that the final product is a 1:1 match from initial concept. Having multiple iterations for this concept, and witnessing each stage of the design process would be a great learning experience.