Developing a Collaborative Design Toolkit for the Personalisation of Running Shoes

By Matthew Head and C. Samantha Porter.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Sport footwear is an area where collaborative design is already happening with consumers able to personalise the aesthetics of their footwear using the internet. Aesthetics do not appear to be the consumers’ primary interest when purchasing running shoes; a need was identified for better fitting and performing running shoes than is currently available; a large number of consumers are also reluctant to purchase online, preferring to purchase from specialist running stores. In this paper the development of an in store personalisation service with a primary focus of delivering better fitting and performing footwear is detailed. Experts in biomechanics and additive manufacturing were consulted, and focus groups, interviews and surveys were conducted to ensure implementation of an effective service that empowered the consumer, putting them at the centre of a collaborative design process. A design toolkit was developed for the service ( and tested online. The results are discussed and future developments defined.

This research forms part of the Elite to High Street project, a five-year multi-million pound IMCRC-funded interdisciplinary project run by Loughborough University with industrial partners including; New Balance, UK Sport and 3D Systems.

Keywords: Sports Footwear, Running Shoes, Personalisation, Collaborative, Customer, Toolkit

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 5, Issue 6, pp.303-326. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.643MB).

Matthew Head

PhD Candidate, Design Ergonomics Research Group, The Design School, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, UK

Matthew Head is a PhD researcher in the Design Ergonomics Research Group at Loughborough University. He studied Product Design and Innovation at the University of Portsmouth, graduating with First Class Honours, and joined the Elite to High Street project in 2008. This project investigates the design of personalised sports footwear and Matthew’s research focuses on the exploration of the personalisation process for running shoes within the retail environment.

Dr. C. Samantha Porter

Senior Lecturer, Design Ergonomics Research Group, The Design School, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, UK

Dr. Samantha Porter is a senior lecturer at Loughborough University. Her background is in ergonomics, applied psychology and design ergonomics. Her research reflects the breadth of her interests; these include product pleasure, tools and methods for designing for emotion, the design of the person/product interface of medical/medical related products and personalisation and product attachment.


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