Saucony Huarache by David Mahoney
＞ The brief is to design a running trainer for the minimalism range for Saucony. And to develop and to conceptualise through the use of a detailed concept model.
＞ The design should entail the minimalism footwear philosophy where the drop from heal of the foot relative to the sole is very low. And that the design should make the weight and amount of material used on the design very limited. Using a mixture of compliant materials to still maintain a level of user safety and offer the freedom and diversity that this type of footwear has to offer.
＞ This is a sketch of my most successful developed idea, the design is of a modern running sandal, inspiration taken from the materials and terrain where the Taramuhara runners run. The hexagonal lugs allow the user to access additional energy through piercings in the midsole allowing proprioception + increasing oxygen intake by 4% (Dr Lieberman Harvard). The shape of the sole cast from thee layers of rubber, an outsole of EVA+, midsole from expanded rubber to allow the same level of cushioning on forefront impact. Finally a honeycombed insole, that not only provides traction but for this open shoe design allows moistureto escape through canals.
＞ This video demonstrates the assembly of the Huarache and an indication of the thickness and overall form. The shoe is constructed into 3 parts. A hard EVA+outsole from Saucony’s existing material technologies providing a puncture resistant sole ideal for rough trial running. The inner is produced from injection moulded expanded foam rubber and finally a clear matted rubber for the upper honeycomb structure to allow moisture to be channelled from under the runners foot to maintain grip which intern should boost confidence in such a thin shoe sole design.
Additive SLS print of the sole as an assembly in duraform nylon. - Cheeper than rubber!
Making of the Concept Model
Last from Delcam Shoemaker Pro. In the milling machine.
＞ I would welcome the opportunity to develop the ‘Saucony minimalist running shoe’ to market. I have an understanding of the market potential of such a project and the benefits to the athlete’s performance.
It would be rewarding to allow my target users to test and evaluate a functional prototype of the shoe. Due to the shoes structure and lightness I feel there is an opportunity to explore packing design that would reflect the qualities of minimal footwear.
＞ I consider that there are many questions left unanswered by existing companies offering minimalist design footwear due to the infancy of this movement. Therefore, there is an opportunity for design research to allow product development, with the intent to innovate minimalist running.Additionally this research could educate users to the advantages of barefoot/minimal running.
＞ I would further welcome the opportunity to see this project ‘completed’, enabling me to collaborate with other creative professionals of varying disciplines, to enhance the product.