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This summer, 30 young students from all the around the world have come 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)

Today we took our concepts further. Sketching all day is one of the great things about being a designer. Someday we’ll get paid to do it. Unfortunately we’ve been told that sketching is only a very small part of footwear design. Either way as long as there are shoes involved, we’ll be involved. Working on ideation is a funny thing because at any moment you could be propelled forward or adversely thrown backwards in the process. Today consisted of a little bit of both for us at PENSOLE. For instance, a couple suggestions from classmates gave me great ideas but I had to go back and re-sketch many of my ideas. I guess more practice couldn’t hurt. It’s been a lot of long days but things are only going to get more exciting. We start materials tomorrow so we will all need to mentally prepare for the flood of knowledge.

The chaos of desks, sketches, samples, models and students increases with every day. Claudia and I discussing her developments in designing a shoe for running stairs. Designing shoes requires all kinds of feet.

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