Physical Therapists Using Clinical Analysis To Discuss The Art And Science Behind Running and The Stuff We Put On Our Feet

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DOR Podcast #144: From Sketch to Final Product: How Running Shoes are Made (ft. Richard Kuchinsky of Directive Collective)

This episode is a behind-the-scenes look at running shoe design and production. Matt & Nathan are joined by special guest Richard Kuchinsky, founder of Directive Collective and an expert in footwear design and development. They explore an array of topics–from defining industrial design and the significance of consultants in the footwear industry to Richard's proudest project with The Directive Collective, this is an inside look at the shoe design process from initial sketches to the finished product. Delving deeper, they discuss the factors influencing shoe pricing and the emerging trends Richard foresees in the ever-evolving footwear landscape. Additionally, they examine the categorization of running shoes, the pivotal role of comfort and "feel" in selecting the right shoe.

Listen to This Week's Podcast Here!

Direct Links: Apple | Spotify | Anchor


About Richard Kuchinsky

Richard Kuchinsky, a runner and running shoe designer, is the Founder and Owner of The Directive Collective - a full-service design footwear design consultancy. A 4x Boston Qualifying marathoner, Richard has an extensive experience of 20+ years in the footwear industry, and has driven the creative design and development process for global brands, focused on design DNA and strategy. The Directive Collective provides complete footwear design solutions from concept to commercialization including technical design and development and specializes in performance running and innovation.

You can find Richard on Instagram, LinkedIn, and The Directive Collective website.


Be sure to check out this week's sponsor, ⁠Running Warehouse⁠. Rabbit’s new outdoor collection is made for the trail, by trail runners. Inspired by time spent in the mountains, rabbit’s new line has been crafted and put through the test by elite athletes on some of the hardest trails and races in the world. We’ve been huge fans of rabbit’s EZ tee shirts since we first reviewed them a few years ago. They remain some of our favorites and are still highly soft and comfortable hundreds of miles later. Our chief editor Matt Klein is also a lifelong fan of their High Country collection which blends office-ready apparel with running-quality fabric for those looking for run commute attire.

You can find rabbit’s new trail line and more by visiting ⁠⁠ today.


0:00 - Intro 
5:20 - Defining industrial design 
10:44 - The role of consultants in the footwear industry 
13:16 - What is The Directive Collective? 
19:50 - The project Richard is most proud of
22:12 - The shoe design process: from sketch to final product 
29:48 - The time horizons for creating a shoe 
37:16 - What goes in to shoe pricing? 
45:38 - The trends Richard sees coming in the footwear industry 
49:22 - How Richard would categorize the variety of running shoes
55:09 - The role of comfort and "feel" in shoe selection
1:03:14 - What's next for shoes?
1:06:02 - Richard's all-time favorite shoe
1:08:02 - Wrap-up

Recent Episodes

#143: Buy or Sell These Trends | Link
(We play buy or sell with shoe trends of 2023)

#142: High School/Collegiate Running: Common Injuries to Avoid, Best Nutrition Practices and Best Shoes | Link
(Our full team gathers for a discussion on High School and Collegiete Running)

#141: Science of Sleep | Link
(Ryan Wooderson talks all about the science of sleep for runners and what it does for recovery)

#140: Mailbag! |
(We answer more questions from listeners including whether footstrike correlates with super shoes)

Recently at Doctors of Running

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Asics Kayano 30 - Big changes bring Kayano into the future, creating a geometric stability option
Adidas Adizero Boston 12 - Lightstrike 2.0 lightens this trainer a great deal
Saucony Triumph 21- The excellent Triumph from last year gets a new upper that dials in the fit for an excellent overall ride
Mizuno Wave Rider 27 - Retooled to feel a little lighter underfoot and with a greatly improved fit
Saucony Sinister - Sub 5ozs of speed

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NEXT: How Long Do Shoes Last?

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