#1) PEAK Basketball Design Concept
Designer: Brandon Lostutter
Shoe name: PEAK Resistance
Design description: Resistance is a force that plays a major role in the everyday training of today’s elite athletes. It can be used both in a physical and psychological sense to prepare a player’s body and mind for the most demanding situations on and off the court.
Resistance training has become a staple in basketball training. Training drills using resistance bands have become a popular way to gain more power and explosiveness.
“Resistance training allows athletes to train with explosive power and build strength to improve speed and size. In contemporary basketball, athletes are bigger, faster and stronger, primarily due to year-round training both on the court and in the weight room. Building a structured workout plan incorporating resistance training with on-court practice and conditioning provides the best results.” -livestrong.com
Being mentally tough is just as important as being physically fit. Elite athletes have daily battles of resistance to negativity, doubts, surrender, and being content.
My goal was to use the idea of “Resistance” as a positive in a high end performance basketball shoe through material and construction to provide a balance between support and custom fit.
The upper is made up of three central elements:
1. Cross-woven synthetic upper
2. Latex-based support bands w/ sonic weld grooves
3. Thin EVA support midsole
The idea is pretty simple; a flexible upper with a series of Resistance Bands holding the foot down to a support platform. The upper is cross-woven to provide enough flexibility to fit firmly over the contours of any foot, sort of like a more rigid sock with a tongue. The series of Resistance Bands are a latex-based synthetic to give elasticity. They are free from the main upper except for the minimal welded anchor points for support. The support midsole acts as an anchor point for the remaining Resistance Bands while cradling the footbed for added support. The upper works with the foot to give a fit that is firm but flexible where needed.
The Resistance Bands are fused at the ends to create multiple lace stays in strategic positions. Instead of traditional laces, a more rigid thread is used with a clamping system to ensure the Bands are stretching consistently and evenly over the foot without losing tension.
Let the Resistance work for you.
Design feedback by Brett Golliff:
This marks Brandon’s second win in our CounterKicks Design Competition’s and a lot of what made him win the first competition is what made him win this competition. The key fundamental that he grasps is “story telling” because without it you have just another product. On top of that his sketches are on point. His sketches communicate exactly what he is trying to accomplish which is not any easy feat.
What I like most about his design is the way the resistance bands are really grabbing and holding you down. They provide function when needed but also build a great aesthetic that can be toned up or toned down. His midsole sidewall does an excellent job of tying into the upper without being too blatant but I think he could have gone crazier with the sole. The sole is not a bad design it just lacks the punch that the upper provides.
The only other improvement I would like to have seen is taking more risk with color and graphics. Since Brandon is welding those bands into place it could be seen as a canvas that provides an unlimited amount of graphic and texture options. My favorite colorway he created is the yellow one. It is strong and provides a punch, it gives an honest and exciting look as to what Brandon’s concept could be as opposed to the Navy and Grey team looking option that he featured.
Design feedback by Trung Tran:
The resistance story is great and really speaks to the physical and mental preparation. The inspiration from resistance bands is something athletes can easily connect with because it is relevant to them. I like how Brandon applied the training band concept to his design via the support bands, but I think the idea of resistance could have been carried out more on the tooling as well. I find his tooling to be a bit simple and generic and doesn’t fit well with the flexible, articulated yet supportive look of the upper. I think there is some interesting stuff that could have been done by exploring degrees of resistance to flexibility, torsion or compression in different areas under the foot.
Resistance bands deform and stretch but they’re also elastic which means potential energy is generated and is translated to kinetic energy that pulls the athlete back. I think that idea of potential energy is interesting and it would be cool to explore and see if there are ways to transform it to our advantage.
Brandon’s sketches are really good; they’re very clean and easy to understand. I like how he put some thought into some manufacturing details and I’m with Brett on that yellow colorway, except for the pastiness of the translucent red rubber.