This past Thursday, the team at Under Armour showed off the newest project in their basketball line, the Spawn Anatomix. This new addition to the line is the signature shoe their premier athletes will be lacing up this season. Under Armour Senior Footwear Designer Ross Klein (who was recently seen in this video breaking down the new UA Gridiron Trainer) spoke about the intricate concept behind the shoe, its influences, and just how important understanding the anatomy of the human foot is to creating a shoe that can improve a player’s performance. The Spawn Anatomix (releasing 9/1 for an MSRP of $120) has been spotted in the wild on the feet of some of UA’s best and brightest ballers as of late, and will be on full display during the Elite 24 game happening on 8/24 in Brooklyn, NY at the Historic Tobacco Warehouse. Ross took some time to sit down with us and answer a few of our questions about the Anatomix and what the future holds for Under Armour.
CounterKicks: Could you tell us a bit about the inspirations or influences you drew from as the Spawn Anatomix development got underway.
Ross Klein: Well I mentioned in my presentation a few were quotes from Leonardo da Vinci. You know he’s just a mastermind on all levels, and I got the opportunity to go to Barcelona and some parts of the UK. It’s just something that I follow and I look at. You know he’s got such a creative brain.
CK: Now you also mentioned Antoni Gaudí’s architectural work as well I believe?
Klein: Yeah, you know Gaudí’s work also, the point in which he touches almost everything that he has creations for. Everything that he has actually built he has lived in. To build it while he’s doing it, which is a fantastic approach to me. So you know, with this project it was a similar level of a meticulous, kind of intricate look at footwear, but when we got around to the table and we started mentioning “Hey we stand for fit” that’s what Under Armour stands for, so we said “Well what’s closest to fit?” You know the foot looks the way it does because it acts the way it does. There’s intention behind everything so that was principles that were laid out in the beginning as our foundation for this project. So the biggest thing is the anatomic kind of approach to this shoe.
CK: Now you were mentioning earlier about the “zero dead space” in the shoe. I found that interesting because a lot of shoes can get clunky and that’s kind of what we’re used to from a padded, stable performance shoe. But in the past few years there’s been a change to trying to go lighter and cut the excess.
Klein: Yeah, there’s a big level in the basketball area where you have casual based basketball and then you have performance based basketball shoes. The underlying key factor to all of that is “basketball” and basketball is a performance oriented sport so you know with Under Armour we’re heavy into innovation, heavy into focus, and that’s the direction. The “zero dead space” was something where you can’t pinch an area of excess material simply because we want it to be very catered around your foot making it feel like you have zero distractions and almost nothing on.