Teaming up with Chris "NightWing2303" Chase, from WearTesters to bring quality and craftsmanship back into performance basketball footwear.
KAITO CHOY: the designer that will translate Chris' thoughts on his ideal basket ball sneaker into a design intent.
ITAFLEX: the Portuguese top outsoles manufacturer that will produce the EVA midsole and Rubber outsole.
- Outsole: focus on grip, weight and traction
- Lacing: functional and easy
- Cushioning: Lightweight
- Lining: Breathable
- Upper: height and functionality using premium materials
- Lockdown and fit along: second to none
Blend all these aspects in an exclusive design and made them in an irreprehensible quality, in Portugal, using the best materials available, so that you could proudly wear them also off court.
You will be able to follow all the process via social media, engage in the decision making and witness all teh steps that will lead to making this sneaker a reality.
And, for the first time, the samples will be subject to performance review - unfiltered - by Nightwing, until we reach perfection!
THE DESIGN INTENT
Our biggest challenge till now – as it is our first incursion in performance footwear – is evolving.
In these past weeks we have been working with @nightwing2303 on the outsole, which will be decisive to the overall shoe.
So, with the addition of an outrigger, the design has suffered a huge twist.
And with that twist came a change of color palette.
@itaflexportugal is now working on opening the two molds – EVA for the midsole and TPU for the outsole – so that we can have a test pair of samples ready asap to send over to California for weartesting!
Who’s feeling this as much as we are?
THE OUTSOLE DESIGN
Now we are getting there!
Last night @nightwing2303 shared the final design of the sole (outsole and midsole) for the WAU NW1
Now it is time for @itaflexportugal to do their thing and get a pair of these beasts out there asap!
We can't wait to see them being tested!
Reposted from @nightwing2303 -
This wasn’t 100% ready to make public yet, but I was excited, so f*** it . With the updated design we decided to update the traction pattern as well. Webbing-bone is what we’ve been calling it amongst the team. It’s a trip to see me and my mechanics studied/broken down in a way to show how the shoe should flex/move/support and where. I’m a complete nobody that is getting an extremely rare opportunity to have a performance basketball shoe made based on my preferences. There are many out there that are far more deserving of this privilege than I. Grateful isn’t even the word to describe what I feel seeing this. I don’t even know what I’ll think/feel when I can finally hold a pair in my hands. .
THE FIRST PULLOVER
A first look at the pullover (upper sample) and tooling sample of the #NDub1 — this is not the final product, but it gives the manufacturers a visual so they can alter elements where needed. This is usually nearing the final stage of development before a wear-test sample is made. Some brands have multiple variations of the rough builds and pullovers, but we’re trying to reduce as much waste as possible — this also saves money which is a plus. .
I love how they’re turning out though. They have an old school vibe to them. A hint of skate shoe. The NW emblem spreading across the “chest” of the shoe looks great. @kaitochoy killed the design. .
Once more is available to share I’ll be sure to share it with you all. It’s been fun seeing and sharing the progression. .
Outsole tooling molds are done for the #NDub1 — time to pour some rubber in there This step is what costs the most when creating a shoe. These steel trays need to be made for each size that is being manufactured and the cost is very high per mold created. The next time you sit there and say “this product should be cheaper” just keep in mind how much money went into creating the product and how much the brand/company/entrepreneur will need to recoup back from a consumer in order to break even and hopefully turn a profit. .
We have the first outsole injected!
The TPU (rubber) mold was tested and the first outsole is out.
Now we will wait for the EVA midsole mold - the wait won't be long - and if everything is Ok with that mold we can have the special compound for cushioning and then test the bonding of the two parts that, together, will be the NW1 sole and soul!
We also got the EVA midsole mold open – still needs some minor adjustments – but we could get the first midsole to test if everything is Ok with the special compound that ITAFLEX developed for cushioning.
The contraction mold (wooden tool) is also made.
Now we’ll test the bonding of the two parts that, together, will be the NW1 sole and soul!
And this is the tricky part! No shortcuts here, needs time and perfectionism.
We’ll keep you updated along the way!
The shoes will be subject to public review.
Only after they are tested and approved by Chris “Nightwing2303” Chase and us here at We Are Underdogs are comfortable with it.
We do not know yet. Only after the final version is approved, we can calculate the price.
We want it to be as fair as possible, though knowing that the initial investment is huge.
We will open pre-orders for a wide sze range.
If we have enough pre-orders that make it worthwile we will open the molds for those sizes.
It will be up to you.
The midsole is a special EVA compound developed by ITAFLEX.
The insole will be molded PU.
They will be sold at weareunderdogs.com
As in every We Are Underdogs shoe, count on Worldwide Delivery.
We deliver to every country in the world where UPS operates.
This will be as limited as you want it to be.
We will open pre-orders – with a discount for early buyers - so that everyone that really wants a pair can secure them in advance.
So, no excuses.
There won’t be any fake hype creation, making them artificially limited. If you want them, you can get them in pre-order. Period.
You might, but the stock produced in addition to the pre-orders will be limited.
We’d recommend pre-ordering. Better safe than sorry!