The shoe designed is targeted towards young male skateboarders with the need for quality and style. This shoe encourages high levels of performance and success while providing absolute trust in your footwear. A skateboarder's shoe needs to be rugged, dependable, and sturdy all the while being able to give them the feel and touch they need to perform. "Deck” has taken into account certain materials and specific design choices to maximize the shoes' lifetime and performance on and off the skateboard. The shoe has been designed to be easily put on and taken off with a large Velcro strap. Double stitching has been used on all seems to provide the utmost strength and durability.
Once the design was finalized I moved toward beginning the model. Further tweaks and changes were made when seeing the design on the last (as seen below), such as a angled leather toe to provide long lasting durability to the part of the shoe most in contact with the skateboards grip tape when performing tricks. When the design was chosen the tape was then cut off with a knife and placed on a piece of paper to be used as a flat pattern. Once on the paper it was then scanned into a computer to be turned into a file for a laser cutter to process the material into the correct shapes.
A tech pack of the shoes cut outs were then put together to help figure out how the shoe would be assembled and manufactured.
Model making continued when all pieces of leather and pleather had been cut. The model began with sewing the upper together by hand. First were the pleather sides attaching to the toe and heel counter. The pleather sides provides the user a stretch and flexibility the leather heel and toe lack. Once attached the tongue was then stitched into the toe and upper sides. The buckle and Velcro strap were then sewn together and placed on the shoe, thus finishing the assembly of the upper.
Brown leather was chosen for its durability and style. The leather provides a strong toe, heel, and strap where most of the wear and tear will take place. The smooth texture and material add class and style to an otherwise boring shoe. Black Pleather was chosen for its cost and qualities. The real leather would increase the cost of the shoe whereas the pleather would bring it back down, keeping it reasonable for all possible buyers. The stretchy pleather is perfect for the sides of the shoe and tongue allowing for movement and feel when performing. Black leather was chosen for the ankle ring and buckle attachment. The strength and durability needed in these two places is high, making real leather perfect for the job. The ankle support may get sweaty so leather was chosen for its easy cleaning properties. A foam insole was chosen to add long lasting comfort for skateboarders. The insole provides arch support and cushioning for the entire foot. The insole will allow the user to perform longer. Foam cushioning was installed on the inside of the upper. The sides of the foot and heel are cushioned by a thin breathable foam for extra comfort and air flow.
The next step was to attach the upper to the last and sole. This began with placing the insole onto the bottom of the last where it was then taped in place to keep still. The next step was to then wrap the upper around the last and begin to glue and nail it in place. The nails are used to help hold the glue while drying. This process was very time consuming and frustrating making sure everything in top was lining up correctly and in place. When attaching the upper to the last it is crucial to be stretching the leather and pleather to achieve a 0 wrinkle shoe, if not done correctly you will see gaps and imperfections on the shoes upper when the last is removed.
The finalized model turned out very well and fit quite snug. In conclusion I enjoyed this project very much. Deck addresses the needs of skateboarders to a very high degree. The strong leather provides long lasting support and durability, while the pleather and foam gives comfort and maneuverability to the user. The Velcro being placed on the inside keeps it away from the deck of the skateboard when performing tricks, keeping the shoe tight at all times. Heavy duty nylon thread and glue were used to attach the upper to the outsole so the user never has to worry about it coming apart. This shoe has been thoroughly thought out and designed to be the perfect skateboarding shoe. The unique design allows the user to have absolute comfort and trust in the shoe to be able to perform at the highest of levels.