University of Puget Sound students analyzed the trade-offs of flexibility, durability and other footwear features Thursday for a process that could result in a new shoe by Crocs.
Mariah Young, 19, asked Crocs footwear designer Tracy Goodsmith if “more squish” in a shoe meant less durability.
“Totally,” Goodsmith said.
Nine UPS students in a 300-level exercise science class shared ideas with four top employees of Crocs over three days this week on the Tacoma campus for the company’s plan to make a new flip-flop style shoe. It would be worn after exercising and would comfort fatigued feet.
Each student developed and presented a product concept that was merged into a single proposal.
“I never thought I would be part of producing a shoe,” said Young, a sophomore. “It’s really amazing to see it first-hand and be a part of it.”
“I’m just really excited,” said senior Austin Vander Woude, 22, who wants to go into the shoe production business.
It’s the first time that casual footwear maker Crocs has worked with college students on a shoe’s development.
The chance to consult with Crocs came about through the students’ professor, Heidi Orloff. She’s done research for Crocs, the footwear maker based near Boulder, Colo., known for its lightweight shoes with the crocodile logo representing one of its founders.
Two of the students, Bryson Nakamura and Sean Field-Eaton, had previously tested how much people’s feet swell from working out on a treadmill for three hours.
And last week, the students questioned focus groups of women in Tacoma about exercise and how much they would pay for a shoe that relieved stressed-out feet.