We go behind-the-scenes on the design process and inspiration for our newest work boot, the Invader.
Ever wondered how your favorite boots get made? Want the inside scoop on the design process and inspiration?
Well you’re in luck! We went behind-the-scenes with Design Director Dylan on Instagram Live t0 answer your questions, discuss the sometimes years-long process it takes to get boots ready for you to buy, and talk about how social media inspired our newest Invader work boot.
Short on time? We recapped a few of your answered questions below or you can check out the full conversation on Instagram HERE!
Q: What sparked the idea of the Invader?
Dylan: The success of our re-introduced Re-Powered Intruder ‘steroid sneaker’ really was the core inspiration. It was a shoe introduced originally in the late 90’s and with the ‘chunky/over built sneaker trend, it also seemed like a logical entrée for Cat Footwear. The exciting aspect of Invader is that the consumer also really drove the concept. Very quickly while selling Intruders we received numerous comments asking when the Safety toe version was coming.
Q: What inspires you the most or what is the most exciting part of the process for you?
Dylan: I love generating the control drawings for the soles. At Cat Footwear, the sole is the ‘soul’ of our shoes, and we really have a unique DNA of toughness and ruggedness that we carry forward in our sole designs. And building the control drawings is when you are really bringing the product to life – transferring from 2D art to 3D reality. Then – when we see the first mock ups – its like ‘Christmas’ – so exciting to see the first parts and shapes!
Q: How do you typically come up with innovations and new shoe designs?
Dylan: Building a shoe takes a village. Yes, I pen the design, and do a lot of honing and working back and forth with our developers/engineers, but it’s a team effort of many people, from Design to Development and Engineering, to our colorist and materials expert. We set out goals up front. Innovation doesn’t come from ‘thin air’ – ideas are a dime a dozen – it’s how you implement a new idea, and execute to engineer it into reality that makes a real difference.
Q: What are things people are surprised to learn about when you speak on shoe design?
Dylan: That its more than a styling exercise, especially on the performance side and the Work-Industrial side.We really take into consideration so many important aspects of the user’s needs. Yes they need a shoe, and it should fit, and be super comfortable, but also we take into consideration anatomy and biomechanics. And then of course – what are they doing? Are we talking about a construction worker out in new developments? Or an airport worker, or a car mechanic, or a bartender? These folks and occupations have very different needs. And therefore, shoe design is really an interesting mix of art and science. There’s the sense that it needs to look cool, but also fundamentally, it’s really got to work!