conversation with NIKE designer andy caine conversation with NIKE designer andy caine
mar 02, 2010

conversation with NIKE designer andy caine

image © designboom

while attending the launch of the new nike mercurial vapor superfly II football boots, designboom had a chance to talk with the boots’ designer andy caine. in our sessions with caine he discussed the newly developed nike sense technology that enables the boot’s studs to extend when the ground conditions require more traction. caine also explained the science behind the boots’ vibrant colour scheme. the bright purple predominates the outside, while the inside has a dark colour. the contrast of the two as a player is running creates a flickering effect that allows teammates to easily spot them. the new boot was developed over a two and half year period that saw 43 different prototypes of just the upper and years of testing.

nike designer andy caine image © designboom

andy caine talks about nike sense

andy caine discusses the design process of a football boot

caine describes the science behind the superfly II’s colour

caine explains the irreverence of the nike mercurial vapor superfly II

testing shoe image © designboom

nike mercurial vapor superfly II image © designboom nike mercurial vapor superfly II image © designboom

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  • Ok, so there’s been some thought been put into these boots and obviously some nice design but I have a question for Andy – How do you feel about designing products for a company which then exploits children and people of developing nations to produce these? It’s a question which many designers can ask themselves.

    Brian says:
  • Im sorry brian but I dont believe you can put all the blame of sweatshops on Nike and similar companies. I dont agree with it but you have to admit that as consumers we also have a responibility. We need to change our opinions of pricing and stop buying cheap mass produced products. When we the consumers develop a conscience so will the companies that produce these types of products.

    henryep says:
  • Hi, Brian. I’m wondering the answer too. And in China I am trying to contact the local manufacturers and then to sell the idea or prototype to European and American companies which want to sell in developing countries.

    renfee says:
  • It is not only a problem linked to USA sport goods companies, but to all our western world production. Our hierarchy of production costs is astounding.
    This shoe is a great example of high technology applied to sport gear and if this shoe will be a commercial success, people will also keep their jobs.

    Petra Becker says:
  • The next golden era of the shoe business for the modern sports industry. Great work.

    Adam W. says:
  • I have at least 12 pairs of Nike soccer shoes in my closet and these might become my favorite.

    Vh says:
  • I agree with you henryep and in my original post I didn’t place all the blame on the company itself. Of course we as consumers need to be conscious of our buying decisions and change our behaviour too – as long as there’s a demand, companies such as Nike will fulfil it. It’s about making profit and this involves reducing costs in order to be competitive – but this in no way makes it ethical.

    The shoe is a great example of high technology as Petra Becker says – but is the design sustainable? If we are investing so much time into improving technology in a shoe, we can also invest time into making sure a product is made of recycled materials, is easy to disassemble etc. This would be a much greater technological breakthrough than a stud which adjusts to different surfaces.

    I don’t want the designers of this shoe to take this personally. This same argument can be applied to many other products which appear on this blog, but it is important that we, as designers, make responsible decisions about what we put in the hands of the consumers.

    Brian says:
  • With sportswear having crept into most people’s wardrobes
    the color trends took off and ‘new looks’ are born. This purple looks very cool. It’s a shame that they don’t do it for girls and for the street 🙂

    Rebecca says:
  • Brian, we cannot combine everything. The majority of extreme sports are reliant on the advancement of design innovations and technologies. Recycling is good, and most urgent for packaging, or street running shoes, not for specialist gear.

    Jean says:
  • Jean, recycling is good for everything and shouldn’t be limited to just packaging or street running shoes. And who says we can’t combine these things? I agree with Brian.

    Jo says:
  • Having meetings from dawn until long after dusk on all manner of things, I’m a bit stressed already.
    This recycling argument is so right, that it is off-topic too, because it could be valid for every blog post
    and for every product that exist. Stop this now, please.When something is really cool, there should be an applause!

    Gill says:
  • “It’s a very complex thing that’s actually very simple”.

    StanleyMatthews says:
  • these are beautiful

    kami says:
  • Brian = Yawn

    not brian says:
  • I’m sorry, I actually wanted to hear about design. If you want to be totally green and conscientious Brian don’t use a computer, which will be great because then I’ll be able to hear what Andy’s got to say about his boots… Right, shall we talk about design now please. Brian, go hug a tree or something.

    PhillippeStarck says:
  • Andy, these are dope. Ignore that turd Brian. He clearly just learnt a new word in skool… The flickering effect idea is sick.

    NuShooz says:
  • nike used recycled plastic bottles to make the new world cup kits, so they fulfilled their sustainable responsibilities. as designers, we are responsible for bringing people objects. is this boot sustainable, probably not. is this a well designed, stylish, functional object? yes, very much so.

    designbonito says:

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