The Curry eight modifications basketball footwear perpetually
Tom Luedecke is Under Armors Vice President of Footwear Development and Engineering. He and his basketball sneakers have been around the block a few times. His name is associated with some famous silhouettes to keep it as simple as possible. And even after everything he's done in the industry, he talks about Curry Brand to the excitement of a newbie while taking a stroll through the past in a pair of Curry 8s.
"In November 2019 we met (Stephen Curry) in a restaurant near Stanford," Luedecke told SLAM. "And I remember that at that point we were the color 'Flow Like Water'."
His colleague Steve Segears, Senior Merchant, Global Merchandising at Curry Brand, smiles along with the beginning of Luedecke's story.
“Steve did a phenomenal job of just telling stories and looking at all the materials and colors and possibilities,” Luedecke continues. “And (Stephen) puts on the shoes and the moment he has them on, you just see that smile on his face, he just smiles and he goes into the corner, he bounces up and down, that does he some things. We're in a restaurant, in the back room of a restaurant, so there's no way for him to get her out into the square, but you can see he's saying, "This is the shit here."
And then both Luedecke and Segears laugh. That was when they knew years of hard work would pay off.
The two-time MVP confirmed the story a few days later.
"No doubt about it," begins Curry. “This moment was special because it allowed me to see the future and where we could go with the product, and that same experience for everyone who wears it. As you know, I always look forward to that moment when you try something new, but this was something that took it over the top in terms of the feel, comfort, dated rubber and the whole story behind flowing. From then on, the excitement about what we were building was kind of cemented. Now that it's actually on the shelves and on the feet of fans around the world, it means a lot to know that it all started here. "
(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaLCRDC2Wes (/ embed)
"I remember the meeting we had with him at Stanford," added Segears. “At the time, Steph still had a hand injury so he had a large cast on his hand and I remember we actually had to get someone to put their shoe on and tie it for him. I remember that smile on his face. I think he had the Curry 7 on one foot, I think. He's putting on the prototype of the Curry 8. He just gets up, you can just see that smile, almost like that big grin, as if he had just hit the game-winning three-pointer that is just coming over. And I'll tell you, even though he had the actual cast, this shoe was difficult to get off his foot. I think he would have gone out with these shoes on that day if we had let him. "
“He kept the shoes,” Luedecke steps in. “I think this is one of the first leaks you saw on Warriors Instagram. Some of those leaks were from that particular product because it was actually like, “Ahhh, I'm taking this. & # 39; "
What made this moment so special for Curry was the introduction of Flow. It's a proprietary leap forward in technology that enables a completely rubber-free foam outsole. It doesn't slip, which means it doesn't squeak. The squeaking and sliding takes up time on the court, which can lead to frank gazes or screwed up defensive assessments. A mainstay of basketball sneakers for a century, rubber squeaks and echoes around every gym and park that has a hoop in it. Flow is the silent antidote.
That night, Curry finally saw a near-finished version of the brand new system.
Luedecke explains that the idea of Flow first began in 2017. A group of chemists and engineers only talked one day and tried to imagine something big, as Luedecke puts it. Their discussion led to UA's signature damping platform, HOVR, a development that marked another big moment in their design history. This foam mass was wrapped in a so-called Energy Web. The Energy Web was a mesh fabric to protect the foam. Responsiveness and energy return were taken into account in the interaction of the elements.
These brainstorming sessions to improve the HOVR continued through 2018 when a message was received from UA's colleagues in Shanghai. A small shipment of tiny fragments of foam showed what could be possible. More work followed until Luedecke was finally able to use the new foam for some prototypes of running shoes, but had no special expectations at a high level.
His counterpart, Fred Dojan, set up the Protos in their office one morning. He ran around the basketball court in the office. When Luedecke came to work, Dojan was convinced that he should try the product too. And Luedecke was shocked to find out how well they grabbed the hardwood and how light they were.
Then her life began to move in time lapse. They knew Stephen would be the main driver of this new vehicle. Four prototypes with four different upper parts were created. But the foam, the material that Flow would become, remained constant.
These protos were brought to Cali to display number 30. After learning the biometric details and running around in them for a bit, he shared his thoughts.
"He says:" Okay, I want 8 – that has to be 8, that has to be the next shoe, "recalls Luedecke.
The TP then makes a sound effect of an explosion.
Segears adds that Flow technology should drop in 2022.
Monthly meetings with the three-time champion took place for more than a year. He had long wondered how he could improve his sneakers from the point of view of innovation. He asked questions during all of their meetings and kept pushing for the most modern platforms and materials.
"He's also very interested in technology in his personal life," Segears says of Curry. “When it comes to innovation, we see him as the man we want to put at the forefront of innovation. If it's something that makes him better and he can feel it like Flow does, we want to make sure we get all of these insights. He was very handy throughout the process. There were a lot of late night phone calls. Only he checks in. For example: “How do we go about the process? Are we going to get this for 8? “And he was adamant. He said, "I don't put anything else on my foot unless it's this flow technology."
"The way the product is made is the opposite of other basketball shoes, and that comes from someone who made a lot of basketball shoes," says Luedecke. "Usually you try to get stability first and then cut away a bit to get where it's flexible enough to be felt on your foot. That's the opposite. We started with flexible as a starting point. If you have foam and Sticking rubber together by definition, it's like plywood by definition. It creates a stiff surface or something that doesn't want to bend very well. I'd say in any other basketball shoe that you fight it. There's a place to go can bend a little better or take things out. Then you wonder if it will still be stable enough. That process was very interesting even on our part. "I have to pick up every preconception, everything I know about building a basketball shoe … "This also includes our engineers. You have to think about that right up to the factory. Even the factory workers said:" That's not how we build shoes. " we don't want to mess with how soft it is, we don't want to mess with the comfort it feels. That wants to bend, that wants to work with your foot. That was a very, very fun exercise. "
The full-foam outsole had to be complemented by an equally high-performance upper material, which would not overshadow the new technology. They walked with a rope that has synthetic coatings that make the foot vulnerable. Luedecke addresses the bidirectional internal adaptation structure that was contained in figure 8.
"There are two directions of support that are independent of each other. They are not laminated. Depending on whether you stop or cut, there are different elements that come under tension," he says.
The external heel cap and internal heel boot complete the technical data of the 8. But the silhouette is really all about flow.
"It's something," said Curry after the start of Flow, "you've never seen that before."