Student project / Performance Footwear
*Not an actual product for HOKA ONE ONE
Trail running shoes designed to provide a stable and safe creek crossing experience.
2019 Summer, 14 weeks
Design an equipment piece for user in Eaton Canyon.
Eaton Canyon is a trail located in Pasadena. I focused on the Eaton Canyon waterfall trial, which has a waterfall at the end.
The first half of the trail is easy for most hikers. The second half of it is more challenging. Hikers need to cross the creek multiple times to get to the waterfall.
The soft dirt road has small rocks along the road. Wide enough for a few people walking at a time.
Some parts of the slope are narrow and have sand on the surface that makes
Creek rocks and branches allow people to walk across the creek without stepping in the water.
Weekend hiker + Weak knees !!!
" Wet shoes and socks are uncomfortable,
and they hurt my feet. "
" Be careful when you cross the creek! You can get hurt easily if you don’t have good gear. "
from research & interview
Eaton Canyon has a lot of rugged surfaces along the trail, but a lot of hikers wear normal running shoes, which don't provide enough stability and protection.
Many hikers utilize the creek rocks and branches to cross the creek because they don't want to get their feet wet. However, they don't have proper shoes to provide grip on slippery surfaces.
Hiking with wet shoes and socks is not ideal for hikers as it will hurt their feet, and even got affected since there are bacteria in the creek. They need shoes that keep their feet dry along the trail.
Stepping on the creek rocks with my barefoot allows me to study how the biomechanism of my feet react to the surface.
Wrapping around the shape
Gripping on the rock
Landing on smaller rocks
IDEATIONS & HACKING MOCK-UPS
The thin sole is flexible for my feet to naturally wrap on rocks,
but It's lacking of protection when walking on any rugged surface.
^ Tread with flexible sole
The concave surface at the bottom provides more stability on rocks.
It works like a suction cup and increases the contact surface between the rocks and the sole.
^ Small treads at the heel and
Larger treads at the forefoot
^ The negative shape provide a
more stable step on rocks
The trail can be split into 2 sections, with and without creek crossing.
It is good to have more movement in the first half, and
more water-sealed ability in the second half.
^ Flipped down (better movement)
^ Flipped up (better waterproof ability)
SCALE & FEATURE PLACEMENT
After doing the hacking mockups I decided what kind of feature is needed for the design. Sketching on a vacuum-formed shoe last is really helpful for scale, size, and placement of all the parts.
^ Thick midsole design features from Hoka One One
^ Thicker midsole provide a deeper concave shape at the bottom
Refining some detail, feature placement, as well as material and finishing.
Define materials best fit for the features of the shoes. The tech pack is also used to build the final appearance model.