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Nike Trailbreaker - Tough Mudder Footwear. After helping to organize and take part in a Tough Mudder race in the USA, I learned what qualities would be needed to make the ideal shoe for this event. Personal Project, 2014

What is it?

Its Not For The Feint Of Heart The Tough Mudder is a gruelling 10-12 mile obstacle course. It is desigend by Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina and determintation. Only 78% of entrants successfully complete each challenge. The details of the course remain a mystery until 2 weeks before the event.

Can Footwear Aid The Runners? Obstacles within the course consist of walking along narrow balance beams, leaping over 4-foot-wide mud pits and sliding head first down slippery slopes into muddy water. The runners need a shoe that has Good Traction to grip the terrain, a Weather-proof Upper to keep moisture out and a Lightweight and Supportive construction for coping with long distance sprints.

Existing Products Available Products that possess qualities the shoe will need to have. Can a solution be developed to effectively combine these without being mutually exclusive?

Traction and Stability.



Weather-proof. Lightweight and Comfortable.


As the races are designed by Special Forces, inspiration for form, functionality and even colorways was drawn from the equipment of different armies. As well as their vehicles and uniforms.

Solution Synthetic Leather

Elastic Laces and Flywire

Intergrated Gore

Protective TPU Toe Cap

Flyknit with Nike

Rubber Outsole

Molded TPU Hee

Phylon Midsole

Flex Zones

Material Removed To Reduce Overall Weight

e-Tex Gaiter

eskin applied

el Counter Aggressive Outsole with Deep Lugs

Non-Slip Tread Pattern



Aspiring Athletes And Designers Of Tomorrow (Project In Progress) Footwear Designer at Island Lake Camp - Pennsylvania, USA

For 9 months I worked with up to 30 kids (from 4th - 8th grade) through focus groups, brainstorming sessions and creating a rigorous “learn by doing� footwear design curriculum to discover their ideal products. Being able to obtain this primary research was an invaluable experience. We covered the whole design process and I assisted them with developing a final design. As a result, I thoroughly understand this consumer group.

What Do The Aspiring Athletes Of Tomorrow Look For In A Footwear Product?


Persona Whether playing on the court or the soccer field, looking good matters to these guys. They want what's on their feet to stand out as much as their athleticism. Their shoes should always be the topic of conversation.

Kids are Consumers Too Most kids purchase downsized products orginally designed for adults. This sketch and brainstorming session gave them a platform to voice their opinions. What would be the outcome of a footwear product designed by children, for children?

Concepts Quilted Toe, Zigzag Edging And Contrast Stitching. Colors Switched On Each Foot To Put A Twist On The "Mismatched Soccer Shoe Trend". Carbon Fibre Sole Plate With TPU Windows. Wraps the heel for support Synthetic Leather Overlays Flywire And Nike Skin

3M Speckle Print On Lace Glows In The Dark

Flywire and TPU Film Reinforced Upper

The Ideal Ingredients For these consumers, designs that include colorways with strong contrasts, vibrant color pops and the incorporation of materials such as carbon fibre are ideal. They need supportive products that provide comfort during the many hours spent honing their skills. More "futuristic" and "modern" looks appear more desirable to them.

Lunarlon Midsole, Icy Outsole, Carbon Fiber Shank

Breathable Mesh Windows

Synthetic Leather Overlays

3M Logo Glows In The Dark

Footwear Development Internship

Collectif d’Anvers Design Studio, Antwerp, Belgium I worked on 8 pairs of footwear that were featured in the 2013 Antwerp Fashion Academy Show. Sketches from clients were developed into manufactured products. Traditional shoemaking techniques and equipment were used. Natural Leather, PVC

Process Sketches provided by the client.

Antwerp Fashion Show Feature Click Here For Video

Sustainable Footwear Designed in the UK, Manufactured in Belgium and Further Developed in Boston, USA on a trip to Nike Converse’s HQ

Can Footwear Design Reduce Landfill Waste? Each year over 300 million pairs of shoes are thrown into landfills and it can take a total of 80 years for them to fully decompose. The majority of my research participants explained that current eco shoe products appeared “dated” and “not fashionable” for them. Can there be a shoe that is trend relevant and sustainable?

Sustainable Footwear Graduation Projec t

I believe that it is possible for sustainable footwear to perform as well as a non-sustainable product. There are many alternative ecological materials that possess great qualities. This project aims to change the way in which users view eco products; reflecting current trends in fashion and architecture in order to enhance aesthetic appeal. Handmade in Belgium

The Extrovert Consumers These guys have a strong passion for fashion and like to keep up with current trends. They are collectors and self educators of all things footwear. Its important that their sneakers match with the bold outfits they wear.


With the use of organic materials on the shoe, why shouldn't it's form be organic too? Design cues were taken from organic styling found within design.

What Do They Wear?

Minimal Branding

Vibrant Color Pops

Limited Edition Colorways

Fine Details

High Quality Materials

Sketch And Mockup

Chosen Colorways

Eco-Fi Breathable Mesh Fabric

Eco-Fi Laces

Glossy Heat Melt Pattern On Top Of Leather

PVC Display Windows

Organic Leather Upper

Further Development With Nike Quilted Eco-Suede

After manufacturing my first design, I travelled to Boston, USA

Contrasting Collar

and met with the Design Directors at Nike Converse’s HQ.

Deco Stitch

The meeting enabled me to gain feedback on how my concept

On Seam

could be developed further. Fine detailing and a mixture of different materials were applied to the upper as a result. Contrasting Deco Stitch

Aqueous Top Coat Patent Leather

Perforated Leather

Materials and Manufacturing


(1) Polycarbonate Obtained from recycled CDs

(2) EVA - Treated with EcoPure The midsoles are Compression Molded to cut waste


(3) Bioflex PVC Made from fine limestone particles and plasticizers of organic origin. (4) Eco-Fi - Treated with EcoRepel and EcoPure



Plastic bottles are ground down, melted and extruded to create fibers. The fibers are then processed into a breathable fabric. (5) Leaves Leather Vegetable tanned using natural ingredients such as bark from chestnut trees. Using the EcoPure additive will allow the product to biodegrade in a total of 20 years.


You Choose The Color The shoes are made to order which allows consumers to personalize their products. Consumers will be able to choose the colors of upper components, laces, and inner booties. With a wide range of colours to choose from, there is a combination to match every outfit. The booties can also be used for footwear when inside the home.

Reducing Waste The biodegradable packaging eliminates the need for plastic carrier bags and is made from recycled corrugated paper. Flexographic printing (consumes less energy) and water-based inks are used to brand the box.


Thank You For Your Time

Profile for Dann Forrester

Work Samples  

Footwear and Product design

Work Samples  

Footwear and Product design


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