Technical support for testing purposes,
materials, funds etc. has been provided by
London College of Fashion,
Loughborough University and EOS.

In 2003, Freedom of Creation (FOC) was commissioned to help to develop the world’s first custom soccer shoe and a customization platform for the outsole of the shoe by Prior 2 Lever (P2L), a company specialized in custom high-performance footwear. The shoes were finally launched for the public on April 6, 2006. As of that date, the platform has been used by FOC for the custom design of the outsole for individual players. The shoe is based on an original idea first developed in 2003 by Greg Lever, Creative Director of Prior 2 Lever. It has been designed by Janne Kyttänen from Freedom of Creation in collaboration with Greg Lever. FOC is responsible for all custom designs of athletic footwear for the clients of P2L. The shoe is aligned to individual bio-mechanical needs, enhances performance and extends the career of the athlete.

The customized shoe is created using Digital Manufacturing which is the process of combining a 3D CAD file with any of a variety of innovative manufacturing methods, such as Rapid Manufacturing. As a result, a virtual electronic file is rendered into a solid object with a push of a button, which offers the manufacturer significant financial benefits, such as elimination of warehousing, stock and assembly processing, extreme reduction in transportation costs and just-in-time production. The materials used are laser cut leather and laser sintered PA22. In addition, the shoe is professed to please the eye, as color, style design and texture can be varied. Although other soccer shoes on the market allow one to personalize one’s shoes by color or by adding a name to the shoe, the Custom Soccer Shoe is tailor-made to fit one’s foot individually, because the foot is scanned for exact measurements. For the footballers this is a great move forward. Now they can take to the field with a soccer shoe that has been designed for both their feet and not just with a soccer shoe of the correct length.

When a player needs shoes, he first contacts P2L to make an appointment. Orthopedic tests will be performed on the player’s feet and they will be 3D scanned. After that a digital last will be made and sent to FOC and to a third party to laser cut the leather and other fabric parts. FOC will use the digital last on 3D software to adjust the studs and to finish the 3D file of the studplate. The studplate will be sent for laser sintering to another third party. When finished, all the parts from the laser sintered studplate and the leather to the paddings etc. will be sent to yet another third party for assembly. Finally, the pair of shoes will be sent to the player. There are professional footballers who currently use the shoe, but their names are currently kept confidential.

Freedom Of Creation (FOC) is a pioneering design and research company whose mission is to bring together the latest technology and design. It is specialized in Digital Manufacturing projects. Since 2000, the extensive research conducted by FOC in Rapid Manufacturing has resulted in innovative and successful new commercial product designs, the development of new industrial materials and software products, and has been the foundation for significant R&D projects with a range of industrial partners. FOC was founded in 2000 in Helsinki, Finland by Janne Kyttänen. It is currently based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands where Kyttänen studied industrial design at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy. His MA thesis laid the foundation for FOC.

Summary in Finnish