PENSOLE World Sneaker Championship Diaries: Day 2

Jul 23, 2014 | Ian Stonebrook |



Earlier this week, 30 young students from all the around the world came together in Portland, Oregon, determined to change the footwear game by embarking in the PENSOLE World Sneaker Championship. Assigned to teams and representing a diverse range of brands, boutiques and major corporations across the industry, they’ve began their journey to design a product that’s ready for retail. These are their stories.


Roster: Dexter Sulit, Claudia Lopez, Daniel Raes and Marcus Taylor (CMF)

Day two of the World Sneaker Championship and the morning session focus is on our professional identity. How can we market ourselves to stand out from the crowd? D’Wayne’s answer is to focus on what makes each one of us individuals. We discussed that in the context of résumés and portfolios. There’s so much competition in footwear design that we need to stand out as people along with producing great work. There’s no better place to develop those aspects than at PENSOLE.

Team Adidas (Marcus not pictured)

After our day of learning from the master we got our workstations set up with our teams. Our Adidas team is focusing on running footwear but rest assured we will challenge ourselves with out of the ordinary projects. We will spend four weeks together and will almost certainly leave PENSOLE as great friends.

The best way to get familiar with a brand is to read books and hold existing products. PENSOLE is filled with both for endless research and inspiration. We found at least 10 books on Adidas as a brand and enjoyed reading them and sharing our findings with our group members. It’s important to understand where Adidas has been to know where we can take them with our designs.

Any good project starts out with research. Adidas has so many running models that our team has to dive into the mass and make sense of all. Things like Boost, Springblade and Techfit immediately stand out but there’s so much more. After going deep into the brand we turn to studying everything about the type of running our shoe is going to be designed for. Until then, Day 2 is down and there’s plenty more to come.


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