The human factor is something crucial and therefore I need to build my product around the athletes I want to address. My target audiences are primarily Top-runners and Omni-athletes. Why? Simple because these two clienteles have a common passion for the sport as the driving force behind their purchasing decisions with the difference that the one is more focused on themself while the other tries to exceed in a competition. Both audiences are willing to pay a higher price to get the best product possible and that’s why I think that I should be focusing on them. The demographics shows, that both combined make roughly 50% of the overall sneaker consumers which is important for my concept to unfold.
The app is a gateway between the digital and the analog world and has three main functions: tracking the running technique, connecting to a community, and improving the performance of the athletes through the integrated AR features.
After the purchase decision has been made, our athlete is faced with the choice of one of the two models. He can choose between the base and the pro model. The sneakers were designed the same, but still, have some specific adjustments. The Pro model is based on the athlete’s biometrics. For example, an accurate measurement of the foot or height and weight can be considered to create a personalized product. This design approach is already being followed to create professional athlete’s products. I took this as a role model and want to make it available to a wider range of consumers by offering an interest-free payment in installments. 
By pricing the sneakers in the high-end spectrum and conveying an understanding of the manufacture of the product, I want to provoke more conscious buying decisions.
Depending on the sport, our athlete can now choose between several silhouettes.
Because of his passion for long-distance running, he chooses the running silhouette and gets the...

The tech behind tracking the running technique looks like this. All smart components are in the sole of the shoe and consist of several layers of fabrics made of so-called smart fibers. A layer must consist of pressure sensing fabric, such as produced by the company EoanTex. This layer can determine where pressure is being exerted on the insoles, so it is possible to understand exactly the running movement of the user. The app can be used to determine where possible errors in the user’s technique are via the type of running in the shoe.However, this smart fiber must be supplied with electricity for which the second layer of smart fibers is used. This consists of electroactive polymers or EAP’s for short. These smart fibers generate electricity using piezo crystals that have been incorporated into the fabric.
The recycling process is divided into five steps: cut the tongue, wash it, grind it, and melt it again. The washing of the shoe after all smart components have been removed is not used to clean the sneakers, but to dissolve the upper material. This works by making the upper out of an algae-based plastic which should be soaked in water for long enough to dissolve. The upper is connected to the midsole with an adhesive, which is based on an Algae hydrogel which can be dissolved by the addition of bacteria. The midsole consisting of TPU is then shredded in order to subsequently receive pallets that can be used again for the production of new sneakers. According to BASF, the TPU material they developed is 100% recyclable, which I would like to question. However, it would be a huge step forward compared to what is currently being done in the sneaker industry if only a large part of the midsole can be used as a material.
The midsole is noticeably harder and thinner than competing products. On
the one hand, this means that it lasts longer. On the other, it should make our athletes’ run more naturally. I toke this approach from the research of Prof. Dr. Gert-Peter Brüggemann from the Sport University Cologne who argued that modern midsoles are too soft. The foot needs a certain impact when running otherwise it will create its impact by tensing the midfoot itself. This concept is already available at minimal running shoes, but I would like to implement it in a consumer-friendly version in my sneaker.
The individual locations can make design-related decisions on their own responsibility in order to adapt the original design to the local market. This means that a sneaker that is made in Japan, for example, can be produced for Japanese preferences with materials that match the Japanese purchasing power. The same also applies to, brazil, the colors, and materials can only be two elements that differ. I could also imagine that the tongue with electroac- tive polymers is not used in brazil in order to adjust the price.
Think global, act local is the philosophy I want to spread with my project. Therefore the individual locations can make design-related decisions on their responsibility to adapt the original design to the local markets. This means that a sneaker made in Japan, for example for Japanese preferences, can be made from materials that match Japanese purchasing power. The same applies to Brazil, the colours and materials can only be two elements that differ.

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