Did you know that sneakers are the most profitable business in the shoe industry? Apart from providing protection and comfort, this kind of footwear is fashionable. As a result, it generated an estimated market value of $78.59 billion in 2021.
Brands like Nike and Adidas are always looking for ways to improve and innovate new designs. People have started collections and would fight over the latest limited edition sneakers. But how was this possible?
We’ll tell you: technology. The sneaker industry lives through innovation, and technology has been the leading force to many brands’ success.
Are you wondering how technology enhances sneaker design? Read on to learn more about the correlation between technology and sneaker design.
Less Cost Yet More Flexible and Precise
If you ask a sneaker designer which of the past and present eras is better, most choose the latter. Technology has enabled sneaker designers to work faster and easier. First, the accessibility of materials, equipment, and processes improved.
In the past, shoe prototyping was expensive due to the lack of materials and available equipment. Further, businesses need to go to factories to create the products.
Today, brands can make their products and own specialized equipment.
Businesses found alternative ways to meet demands through technology. This allowed them to reduce the cost of creating shoe samples.
Second, designers can create designs with more precision and detail. It allows them to have control over what they do.
For instance, most designers use a drawing tablet to create their work. To add detail, they can zoom in on the sketch. After designing, they can save it on the device and access it later.
For sneaker designers, technology adds more flexibility and precision to their work.
During the late 18th century, people wore plimsolls which were rubber-soled shoes. Although comfortable, the soles would sometimes catch sharp objects. Wearing this kind of shoes today can affect your performance.
To improve comfort, people replaced this design with air-cushioned, gel-filled capsules. Today, some brands use these in their products, and Nike is one of them. As one of the top footwear brands, it continues to develop and adapt to technology.
The air sole is one of their staple technologies, which has since been a consistent feature in Nike’s new shoes. Its goal is to add cushion by placing air inside the sole.
Cushioning is the capacity of the footwear to absorb the force of an impact. Adding cushions gives more comfort to the feet compared to other designs. Further, the Nike Air cushioning reduces shoe weight without reducing performance.
More Fit, No Injury
Have you experienced struggling to find shoes that fit right for you? Wearing tight, loose, or footwear without enough support can stress your feet.
In the worst-case, pressure can result in pain and injuries, limiting your movement. The only way to prevent this is to use footwear appropriate for your feet, body, and lifestyle. With technology, you can find the perfect-fit shoes for you.
Today, many retailers put 3D foot scanners in their stores. It aims to improve the customer shopping experience by getting their exact foot measurements. As a result, customers can find the best insole fit with no problem.
The 3D foot scanner examines the foot and provides insight into your step pattern. It can also identify your weight balance and foot biometrics.
The New Balance flagship stores in Boston and Taipei started using 3D foot scanners. If you want to check the NB 550 for sale and buy one online, use the FitFully app in beta.
Manufacturers can also use a 3D foot scanner to make new sneaker designs. Apart from shoe orthotics, one can use the equipment to design new shoe models with ease. In addition, it can produce footwear faster and with accurate results.
Sneaker trends change and evolve fast. If brands are slow, they can get left behind in the craze. To keep up with the changes, manufacturers must shorten their lead time.
Top brands use technology in their manufacturing facilities to produce sneakers. This allowed them to release products into the market fast while keeping costs low.
Nike uses the Grabit robotic system’s electroadhesion technology. Unlike manual labor, this lets the brand produce its shoe upper faster. The robots stack the materials using the electroadhesive gripper.
Adidas uses systems like heat bonding and robot-controlled laser. This enables designers to sketch, create prototypes, and manufacture quickly.
Have you heard of smart shoes? Like a phone, the sneaker anatomy contains microchips, sensors, and a battery. It can offer users personalized feedback about their day-to-day activities, health conditions, and fitness.
Experts created smart shoes to promote comfort, convenience, and good health. But how do they work? To use the smart shoes, link them to an application or another smart device.
Next, the sensors send signals to the connected app or device. It can provide information about your surroundings or activity levels, depending on the sensors it carries.
For instance, your smart shoes have a gyroscope sensor. If activated, this measures your orientation and angular velocity. It can also offer in-depth information about yourself, like the number of steps taken, calories burnt, and fatigue level.
Although it has no tracking feature, Nike created smart shoes that lace up by themselves. The pressure sensors trigger an algorithm when you wear it, allowing automatic lacing. Digitsole developed smart shoes that can analyze your condition for personalized health feedback.
It can assess your fatigue level, posture, and calories. After the assessment, it creates precise data on how to improve your condition.
How Technology Enhances Sneaker Design
Among the different types of shoes, sneakers are the most versatile. One can wear it for running, doing errands, or styling a fit. It’s no wonder that most people have at least one pair of sneakers.
To continue meeting demands, brands use technology to enhance their sneaker design. All the latest sneakers are faster, lighter, and more comfortable thanks to technology. If you found this article helpful, please consider checking out our other blog posts.