It took a while but here’s the next exercise I did. My current favorite NBA player, Derrick Rose.


Too big, too strong, too fast, too good!

Derrick Rose is one if not the quickest player in the NBA. A lot is said about the humility of this young star and the contradicting flair in his game. His fans love him for the kind of blue-collar crew he leads and the way he leads, by example. The kind of player your mom would love to see you idolize. The youngest MVP. All was in the up and up for Derrick until the injury plagued ’11-’12 NBA season. His rise as a top-tier NBA superstar came to a crashing (and depressing) halt during the 1st round of the Playoffs. A freak injury that can only happen to a player with a high-level of tenacity and burning passion to win. His mind’s will power proved greater than his body can handle. Today, “Poohdini” is in the road to recovery as we, the fans, wait in anxiousness for THE RETURN. Everybody is wondering if he’ll be the same player he was before. If he can carry Chicago past Miami in the East.

You betcha he’ll be back.

He’ll be back BETTER.

For now, let me do this. I searched for pictures online to help me capture what happens when he dribble and drives. I have the same shoe model to ball in so these pictures will help me to understand my assumptions based on how the shoes feel when playing. You immediately notice the moving and sliding of the forefoot. DRose is 6’3″, 190 lbs and usually does drop steps, jump stops and quick zig zag movements. I imagine the large amount of force the small area of his midfoot/forefoot experiences to counter the inertia of his frame when he changes direction using one leg. In my experience, I find it hard to balance standing on one leg using the Rose 2.5s. I think that forefoot instability would translate to extra work on your ankle and knees as your leg muscles try to regain its balance and that extra work means extra wear on the joints. All of these can happen in fractions of a  second and could go unnoticed in real-time. I am no expert in body mechanics, I wish I have an R&D department at my disposal but these are assumptions based on how my legs feel after a game and my understanding of forces and how they behave in structures. Disclaimer. :)

His shoe should fit properly in the forefoot to secure it from sliding and offer a more stable midsole platform in landings, quick steps and quick crosses.

If the shoes can speak.
If the shoes can speak.

I started the process with these assumptions and a pile of print paper. After doing A LOT of thumbnail and idea sketching, I chose my favorite of the bunch.

Sketch pile on screen is more than they appear.
Sketch pile on-screen is more than they seem.

I didn’t have a scanner then so I sketched the shoe again using my Wacom, did some revisions and adjusted some of the proportions…


…then just to pick things up again, added some color blocking…

Not bad, eh?
Not bad, eh?

…I felt that the outrigger and forefoot design needed to improve. Did a quick sketch over in Photoshop…

This usually happens.
This usually happens.

…and the final render.



I used the Sprintframe for that heel lockdown. Then the heel cup has Geofit foam lining on the inside and around the ankle wrap. This will work with the Speedwraps and provide it enough room and fit. The ankle wrap is secured with lacing and a cover over strap with the DRose logo. The forefoot is caged in a fused upper material. A durable, padded and lined material make up the upper base layer and a translucent tensile film is fused on top to help that base material retain the monocoque shape but still have flexibility. I did an aggressive saw edge-like side wall design as a reflection of DRose’s aggression with enough height to seat the forefoot for a secure fit and prevent it sliding inside the shoe. I also did an outrigger for added stability.

Had a bit of fun and did some more colorways.


There you go.

This was again a good exercise to gauge where I’m at and I see a lot of areas to improve. I got caught in coming up with some cool looking render for this one. Design and idea-wise, I still need a lot of work. Already having a few ideas for the next one (maybe a 4.5).

Please do hit me up if you have comments, critiques, ideas and suggestions. Thanks!




  1. I really like this design it looks really nice, and I’m just wondering if it is possible to actually make it cuz I would love one of these. However I think you should lose the ankle strap.

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