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The Art of Sneaker Design

Once viewed as merely athletic wear, sneakers have evolved into sought-after cultural staples blazing new trails in street fashion. Bringing a fresh pair of kicks to life is no simple feat. It takes vision, skill and attention to detail to craft the perfect sneaker.

Whether you're a sneaker head obsessed with the newest heat or simply appreciatequality footwear, join us as we explore the art and science of dreaming up and developing the next game-changing sneaker. The path from sketch to shelf is an intricate one filled with passion and purpose.

The Art of Sneaker Design

Idea Generation

Thesneaker designprocess starts with brainstorming and idea generation. Designers research current fashion trends, street style, and athletic performance innovations. They look for opportunities to create something fresh and exciting. Anew sneaker designmight be inspired by a new technology like lightweight knit materials or a cultural trend like chunky dad shoes. Designers sketch initial concepts and ideas, pulling inspiration from diverse sources.

Nature's boundless creativity fuels the ambitious vision behind our MANTA Collection. Our co-founder,Josef McNeal, found inspiration in the graceful, fluid movements of manta rays off the Florida coast. Their mighty wingspans symbolize innovation, much like McNeal's desire to make waves in footwear. Just as mantas effortlessly ride currents, we envisions our shoes making their mark. Unexpected inspirations from land and sea spark the imagination, energizing our design process.

Product Design

Once the creative direction has been established, the technical sneaker design process begins. Designers usecomputer-aided design (CAD) softwareto model the different components of the shoe like the upper, midsole, outsole, and any functional elements. The CAD models clearly visualize the full sneaker design. Designers can see how elements like logos, textures, and structural components come together. Through multiple iterations and testing, the CAD models are refined into a final product design.

For the MANTA collection, we wanted to incorporate the manta ray’s wings, horns and tail into the design of the upper.  We went through countless revisions until we created a tech pack that captured our vision.


Prototypes bring sneaker designs to physical life. Prototypes are test samples made with the actual materials such as the high qualityItalian leather, that will be used in production. New sneaker prototypes go through rigorous wear testing tomaximize quality Testers walk and run in theshoes to evaluate comfort, performance, and durability. Feedback from prototyping leads to tweaks and changes to perfect theshoe design.


Once the design is finalized, sneakers go into production. Modern sneaker manufacturing combines hand craftsmanship with high-tech processes. The upper, midsole, and outsole components are fabricated separately then assembled by hand. Sneakers receive custom touches like logos and color finishes. The finished shoes are inspected for quality before being boxed up and shipped out.

The Art of Sneaker Design

Sneaker design is a blend of art, technology, and fashion. The process takes sneakers from ideas on paper to must-have products. With so much competition today, creating sneakers that connect with consumers is an exciting challenge for designers. The next time you lace up your favorite kicks, you can appreciate the creative process behind their iconic designs with every step.

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