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New shoe, sneakers, and athletic design and prototypes

Shoe and sneaker design are at the intersection of fashion, function, and art. Like any other type of apparel, the aesthetics of a shoe are just as crucial as its comfortability. Shoe designers and developers have to address global fashion trends while still staying true to local preferences. 

To say that this can be a challenge is an understatement. For sneaker designers and developers, the competition is fierce, which means developing a brand that captures audiences has to go hand-in-hand with the actual footwear design process. Whether your direct competitors are Nike or a smaller company, you and your team have to differentiate yourself and develop your market niche. 

Mastering both can be a tall order. Fortunately, the team at Cad Crowd is well-versed in matching companies and firms with designers with broad and specialized expertise. Whether you're just starting to create a global footwear brand or need to alter your approach, our team can help. For over a decade, Cad Crowd's team of in-house product design services has helped to connect companies with exceptional design talent. 

The world of athletic footwear design is one of innovation and growing inclusion of technology. Many of today's athletic shoes use design or related devices to enhance a customer's physical activity. 

Regardless of the purpose of your shoe, it starts with excellent design. Our team wants to help you with the new shoe and sneaker design process. For a look at how our team can help and to learn about the ins and outs of this service, keep reading. 

What goes into the sneaker design process? 

Again, shoe design and development are at the crossroads of aesthetics, functionality, and art. Sneakers are supposed to look and feel good to consumers. However, they also have to line up with the company's brand. For example, Nike's goal is to create fashionable shoes for athletes that look good and enhance or complement the user's physical performance. 

Their product has to convey this messaging. Before any design can take place, designers have to understand who they are developing products for. This step will mean building personas of customers that will likely want to purchase the footwear. This new shoe or sneaker design will align with a strong brand message which requires a multi-step process for footwear designers. Here are some of the steps associated with the athletic footwear design and development process: 

  • Research and analysis—Depending on where you're starting with this process, our industrial design services can work with you to either conduct research on fashion trends or analyze your ideas. Understanding what's out there gives you the information you need to set yourself apart in the footwear market. From there, you can begin to determine your new shoe or sneaker design features that will resonate most with your potential audience.  
  • Briefing/Discussing scope—As a client, it helps to strike a balance between telling designers what you are looking for and leaving enough room for them to incorporate their own creativity. You want to provide your athletic footwear designer with practical information that points them in the right direction. When discussing scope, here is the information you should include: 
  • Information about your target audience—Who are your customers? What kind of product are they looking for? Tell your designers information they need to know about your audience so they can keep consumer preferences in mind as they prepare designs. 
  • Details about the market—What products have the highest market share? What types of shoes and footwear are making the biggest splash in the market?
  • Product value: What is the price of the product (typically)? Also, what is the budget? These are topics you need to discuss as you work with your CAD designer to develop a plan. 
  • Visual inspiration and materials—Do you have any references for what you want the athletic footwear to look like? This is the step where you will work with designers to develop the look for the footwear. This will again mean researching relevant fashion trends, determining colors, fabrics, and any other materials used in the making of this shoe. Deciding on the materials you want to use will inform the design choices of the designer. 
  • General scope—How large is the shoe? Where will the logo be placed? Will there be the inclusion of any advanced technologies? This step is where you want to establish the actual design details of the footwear itself. 

From there, your designer will then have the tools they need to develop a technical drawing of the shoe. They will create a 2D draft of the footwear, and label all of the components. Once the technical drawing is approved, designers can then create a photorealistic 3D model. This design is one you can share with investors, partners, and even customers to receive feedback and make changes before the prototyping and development process. 

The prototype development process 

Now that you have a working 3D model of your next footwear design, it's time to move into the product prototyping and development process. Our designers are not only skilled in creating 2D CAD drafts, but they can also help with prototyping and product testing. You may go through three different types of footwear prototypes with goals for each prototype. For example, the first (which is typically known as an Alpha prototype) is meant to verify the design and determine whether you need to alter the original scope. 

The second—known as Beta—is to conduct stress and pressure tests. The objective is to discover potential areas where the design can fail and further straighten out any issues with the functionality of the footwear. The pre-production prototype or sample is the final prototype where your goal is to test the quality of your footwear. 

You want to ensure that your design is ready to be manufactured, holds up to any stresses it may face, and meets your brand's aesthetic and functionality goals. Our designers are also skilled at creating prototypes for 3D printing—which has become a popular manufacturing tool in this industry. 

Our footwear design and development services 

Our team is ready to help with the various steps of the footwear design and development process. Here are some of the services you can expect when you work with a Cad Crowd designer: 

CAD drawingDrafts are instructions for builders and manufacturers. They lay the foundation of what a product is set to turn into. Drawings can ensure that your new shoe or sneaker designs are accurate and hold true to your specifications. Our top-tier design talent will make professionalism and precision a priority in this area so you can move forward in the athletic footwear design process. 

CAD design—Today, computers are taking the place of pens, pencils, and paper. Designs have become more efficient and precise since the advent of CAD software. CAD design allows our designers to build accurate and innovative footwear designs that meet your design and business goals. 

3D modelingEventually, the goal is to go from a 2D technical drawing that displays specifications and measurements to a full-scale photorealistic model. You want to show all stakeholders involved in your plans to get their buy-in and make changes as necessary. An excellent 3D model allows you to give your audience a preview of your ideas. 

Design for additive manufacturingDesigning for 3D printing comes with complexities and nuances. Our designers can take your footwear design ideas and ensure they are developed to allow them to go through additive manufacturing. Additive manufacturing makes it easier for designers to be creative since they do not have to design for the limitations associated with traditional production. 

Concept designDo you have an excellent footwear design idea? Whether it has been scribbled on a loose piece of paper or you've tried your hand at digital design, our team can pick up where you left off. Our team wants you to have a great start when it comes to building upon your new shoe and sneaker design ideas. Allow us to help you get started. 

Engineering CAD servicesEngineering isn't just relevant to the architectural and automotive industries. Engineering is the act of understanding how things work and function. Footwear is apparel, but it still needs to be functional. Our network of designers is ready to design and engineer the usage of your athletic footwear to accommodate your customers.  

Again, the world of footwear design is competitive. There are many companies out there with a variety of niches and specialties. From Crocs to Eddie Bauer, footwear spans a wide range of styles and purposes. Your goal is to figure out where your company fits in this industry. The designers at Cad Crowd offer a variety of design and engineering assistance. For a look at more of what we offer, visit our Services page. 

Footwear starts with design 

Whatever you're wearing on your feet started as a sketch or a 3D model. The new shoe and sneaker design process made it possible to move from a concept to a sample with the ultimate result being a final product that customers could buy. Our team of designers realizes that excellent footwear starts with an exceptional design that takes into account your unique vision for your company. 

Cad Crowd designers can help you build out your brand strategy through design and also further develop an idea that complements one you already have. Additionally, we also understand that you may need assistance beyond design. Our company has a variety of partnerships with manufacturers and 3D printing firms. Our company can be the one-stop-shop for your sneaker and athletic footwear design needs. Here are some design benefits that you can expect from working with Cad Crowd: 

  • Quickly connect with a designer—Whether you want to hold a crowdsourcing contest or request hourly help, our team can quickly connect you with a capable designer. 
  • Receive customized designs—You don't want a general design that doesn't speak to your brand. You want something that works specifically for your audience. With Cad Crowd, you can rely on receiving designs that adhere to your unique vision. 
  • Receive help from experts outside of your internal team—It helps to get an opinion outside of your internal team or network. Our team can connect you with a designer who is experienced in the apparel and fashion industry that can offer advice and guidance that benefits your company or firm. 
  • Efficient process—We don't want your project to take months for completion. Depending on your project's scope and details, we can ensure that designers will provide technical drawings and designs promptly. 
  • Work with anyone regardless of location—Whether you are in Spain or Seattle, we want you to find the best designer for your project. Our platform can help you locate exceptional design talent without being limited by geography. 
  • Lower your hiring costs—Hiring freelancers is much more affordable than working with full-time designers. Many of the traditional costs associated with hiring full-time are not a factor. This allows you to decide on a mutually beneficial wage that works for both you and the freelance designer. 

You have a lot to manage at your company or firm. Whether you are a recently formed start-up or have been in business for decades, we know that the work of a CEO or business owner is endless. One of our goals is to diminish the responsibility of finding a capable sneaker or athletic footwear designer. 

The market for shoe and sneaker companies is a competitive one. Finding your audience and engaging them can be a complicated process. Fortunately, our team can help set you apart through a comprehensive new shoe and sneaker design and development processes. Your product should enhance your brand, and our global network of designers can put you on the path to developing loyal customers. 

Regardless of where you are in the process, our team wants to free up the time of yourself and your staff. If you are ready to start the process, we invite you to reach out for a free quote today. 

Cad Crowd's consumer product engineers are here to help

At Cad Crowd, we have a network of consumer product engineers and product development services at your disposal. If you're looking to design shoes or another product, contact us today for a free quote.

Brands we've worked with

Yale University School of Medicine
Tiffany & Co.
CNOOC Limited
The Boston Consulting Group

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