Adidas Rowing Shoe

About 15 years ago I was a college student (really) and for my thesis from Syracuse University’s Industrial Design program, I created a clip-less rowing shoe (i called mine “shell-shock”).

Last night i was reading the latest issue of Fast Company that is talking of the innovation and products created for athletes and came across an Adidas shoe for rowing!

It contains most of the ideas I had regarding a shoe 15 years earlier. When I was at Syracuse I was part of the SU Crew Team and crew quickly became something I enjoyed, was good at and an athletic “love”.

I noticed that the shoes (at that time) were simple athletic shoes literally bolted into the shell. Many times the athletes walked around barefoot and climbed into a shell and laced up shoes that were the wrong size and uncomfortable.

I applied the clip-less pedal design from bikes and thought for a number of reasons, this would be a great solution (and it appears it was). The other aspect of the old design was safety. I did know of boats that capsized and in panic un-tying ones shoes was not the first thing that came to mind…

I’m glad to see I was not off the mark – just ahead of my time 🙂 I spoke with Vespoli about my design (I believe I even gave Mike Vesploi a copy of my thesis following graduation and speaking with him at the Charles in ’94). If it makes rowers perform better, more comfortably and safer – I’m all for it!

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