Product Design Engineering School of Design

Louis Smith


As an athlete I have always been interested in making products that improve performance.

Throughout the past 5 years I have designed various products from clothes hangers to power tools but after a 6 month internship at Adidas over the past summer, I began to focus on sports footwear design. As a basketball player myself I was drawn to solving a problem within the sport. Therefore, the subject of my masters project has been designing basketball shoes to reduce the high number of foot and ankle injuries in the sport. The final design incorporates features from barefoot shoes as well as a dynamic impact protection system to help athletes build their own resistance and protect them in the moment.

Generally, sustainable practices are at the forefront of my thinking, imagining new ways to create products that achieve more than their predecessors and sacrifice less. Fashion, photography and art are other key interests of mine which continue to shape my outlook. Please reach out if you have any questions.



During basketball activities, players’ feet are over stressed due to the design of their shoes. Competitive basketball has a high impact on the body due to rapid direction changes which can lead to forces on the lower limbs of up to 6x body weight. This leads to common injuries such as ankle sprains, stress fractures and other overuse injuries in the foot and ankle. Most current solutions are remedial, clunky and encourage player dependency. The only effective pre-emptive method of stopping these injuries is strengthening the foot and ankle to resist them which is time consuming and laborious.


Revo is a basketball shoe designed specifically for training with minimal features to mimic barefoot shoes. Without the synthetic support they are used to, players will develop game specific strength in their feet and ankles during their training sessions. However, without any support from their shoes, players would be liable to a sudden injury. Therefore, Revo incorporates a dynamic impact resistance system. Using a CFRP shank and strain rate dependant pads the system is designed to kick in when the foot needs support during high impact lateral movements, sort of like a seatbelt for your foot.