Designing Football Boots

BBC World Service

July 2021

Adidas senior design director, Dave Surace and senior category director Rob Ashcroft create the next pair of football boots for the years ahead. These boots – if a success – will sit on shop shelves across the world and grace the feet of the biggest footballing stars.

Football journalist Raphael Honigstein guides us through the duo’s process, as they balance new, exciting ideas with tried and tested formulas. Dave sketches out the new design, discussing the materials he uses and the dream boots he has in his mind, and reflects on how designing links back to his childhood.

For Rob Ashcroft, his domain lies in what has worked before. Armed with the stats about which designs sell well and why, he guides Dave and his team towards a boot that not only looks good, but performs well on the pitch and the shop floor too.

But what is success for them both? A slick design? An impressed athlete? Or a sales boom? And which one of these takes precedence when designing a new football boot?

Raphael follows the process from rigorous testing to the storytelling of the product, and hears the final moment when Dave and Rob get to unbox their creation for the very first time.

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