Nike’s Design Process for a “Shoe” for Athletes with Prosthetic Limbs

February 10, 2012

Photo from

Photo from

The importance of prototypes within the design community is unquestionable. Prototypes help prove functionality, highlight trouble areas in the design, and ultimately make the next iteration of the product an improvement. Client feedback helps tremendously as it gives the designer or engineer specific areas to focus their work on to meet exact client needs.

Since 2006, Nike has been working with leading prosthetic maker Ossur and marathon runner Sarah Reinertsen to create a sole that interlocks with the company’s Flex-Run Foot. Below is a video which highlights Nike’s iterative design process as it designs this “shoe” for athletes with prosthetic limbs. Called the Nike Sole, the lightweight composite outsole slides onto the Flex-Run seamlessly. Through the use of prototypes and multiple iterations you can see the maturation of the design from a homemade do-it-yourself project to a finished design that Nike is proud to put its name on and offer worldwide. Check out the full article on Fast Company’s website, here.

Written By: Bryson Stewart, Mechanical Engineer

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