Purchasing @UnderArmour Athletic Shoes based on Design and @FootLocker Customer Service

Since it's Friday, I'll blog about something other than Autodesk Forge (which, is by the way, a set of APIs and supporting materials where our customers and partners, among other things, can showcase their 3D data to their customers).

When I was very young, my brother (who is 9 years older) got a pair of Adidas athletic shoes. I thought that they were so cool because they were leather. I wanted a pair, but my parents said no because they cost $25. I was told that I could get a pair when my feet stopped growing.I think I got my first pair when I was 15 years old, and stayed with that brand for many years. I was taught to pay attention to what shoes cost at an early age.

In 1987, I worked at GTE Telecommunication Systems. We developed software for a special purpose computer, the GTD-5 telephone switch, that routed phone calls for the GTE Telephone companies. It provided features like call waiting, call forwarding, and distinctive ringing. GTE had an intramural 3-on-3 basketball league. My coworkers, John Schellbach, Gordon Siemsen, and I entered. In our very first game, play started with the other team taking the ball out. The guy I was guarding went up for a shot. I jumped up in an attempt to block it and landed on the side of my ankle. The season was 30-seconds old, and I was already injured. I was so mad, that I said "That's it. I am getting some expensive shoes." I went out and bought a $115 pair of Nike high tops. Every athletic shoe I have ever bought since then was made by Nike.

About 14 months ago I configured a pair of Nike high tops using the NikeID site. I featured my work ("AUTODESK LABS") and my homeowners' association ("CROWN HARBOR") as part of the customization. The text appears on the rear of the shoes.


Though I had not worn them every day, they came unglued:


I was bothered since they were expensive. Nike customer service allowed me to send the shoes back so they can inspect them to see if the shoes can be repaired or replaced. While I wait for their decision and possible return, I needed some shoes. Unlike some people, I don't have many shoes. For a long time, I had one brown dress, one black dress, and one pair of athletic shoes. Now my collection has expanded to a grand total of 8 pairs.

Under Armour has a shoe in the Autodesk Gallery. The support structure of the sole was designed using Autodesk generative design software.

"Under Armour is pushing the boundaries on high-performance athletic gear. Their innovation Team wanted to up the ante on their performance training footwear, so they designed a lightweight, highly stable, and cushioning shoe to support athletes during their most intense workouts. The Under Armour Architech shoe is a combination of generative design and 3D printing. [In The Fold]


"Autodesk Netfabb was used to generatively design the lattice midsole for a stable heel structure with the appropriate elements of cushioning for strength training. Generative design is a pioneering technology central to the future of making things, where a computer algorithm creates structures based on desired criteria like durability, flexibility, and weight. It results in complex, high-performing structures that human designers would never conceive of otherwise and often requires 3D printing to fabricate. Autodesk Fusion 360 was also integral to the shoe's concept development and refinement. The result is the first commercially available 3D printed performance trainer." [In The Fold]

Based on my familiarity with the exhibit, I decided to check out Under Armour shoes. On my lunch hour, I walked to Finish Line at the Westfield Shopping Center in San Francisco. I selected an Under Armour shoe from the wall and stood there holding it in my hand. I wanted to try on a pair in my size. I waited while a clerk was helping another customer. I waited. I waited. I saw another clerk who was working with stock. I kept looking at his direction, hoping he would see that I needed help. Minutes later, another customer entered, and he helped that customer instead. I put the shoe back on the wall and left the store.

Foot Locker was right across from Finish Line. I entered and was immediately greeted. I selected a pair of Under Armour shoes, was presented with a pair in my size, tried them on, saw that they fit, paid, and was out of the store in 15 minutes. Though the Under Armour Architech was not available, I got the $140 Under Armour Stephen Curry (UA SC3) shoes.



  • High tension threaded material
  • Molded structural foam heel and quarter chassis
  • Raised foam midsole frame
  • Lateral and medial carbon fiber pinions
  • Carbon fiber midfoot shank
  • One-piece rubber bottom

I bought them because they provide lots of cushion, and they felt great, but the fact that I am also a Golden State Warriors fan doesn't hurt.

Shoes are alive in the lab.