We are counting down the days to the Take Flight 1.0 launch by giving you daily insights into the shoe and its development process. Here is a recap of the last 8 days!
30 Days ‘Til Launch – The Beginning
The development of the Take Flight 1.0 began in Lisses, France in August 2012. Take Flight founder Adam Dunlap was spending an extended amount of time in Lisses working with David Belle at this time. Belle was an endorser of Take Flight in 2012 and Take Flight was also the exclusive producer of Belle’s personal brand. And thus it was because of this relationship, and through this relationship, that in August 2012, Belle and Dunlap began discussing the design and development of the Parkour specific shoe that would ultimately become the Take Flight 1.0.
29 Days ‘Til Launch – Two Years in the Making
They say Rome wasn’t built in a day? Well neither was the Take Flight 1.0. When the Take Flight 1.0 Parkour Shoe launches on July 15th, it will be almost two years (23 full months!) since development began. As a part of this process we designed more than 50 soles, more than 50 uppers, and we sorted through hundreds of materials options to find what we feel is the perfect combination of style and function, performance and durability. No one has ever worked so hard to design and develop a Parkour shoe as we did on the 1.0, and the result is one amazing all around shoe that you can be proud and confident in wearing as a Traceur.
28 Days ‘Til Launch – The David Belle Shoe or the Take Flight 1.0?
Here is a photo of the very first prototype for the shoe that would ultimately become the Take Flight 1.0. The story? Originally the Take Flight 1.0 was destined to become the David Belle Shoe! At the time of the shoe’s initial development Take Flight Founder Adam Dunlap was working very closely with Belle, and Take Flight was the company behind Belle’s personal brand. It was through this relationship that in August 2012 Dunlap spawned the idea to make a Parkour specific shoe for the David Belle brand. Belle loved the idea, they got right to work, and initially all structural and performance aspects of the shoe were directed by Belle through Dunlap. This photo shows the first prototype we made in direct accordance with Belle’s instructions. The problem? When the shoe arrived in France for Belle’s approval, Belle didn’t like it at all! It was soon after this that we redesigned the shoe and transformed it into the Take Flight 1.0.
Although the 1.0 now represents the Take Flight name and brand, many of the original performance concepts including grip, flexibility, and cushioning still remain from Belle’s original instruction and vision. All this means that even though the Take Flight 1.0 isn’t the world’s first Parkour shoe, it is the only training shoe in the world to have the direct added influence of Parkour founder David Belle.
27 Days ‘Til Launch – A Shoe From the Future
We designed the Take Flight 1.0 to stand the test of time. In order to do this we thought about the future of shoe technology and style and what design aspects were not only ideal for Parkour today, but what design aspects would still be ideal in 20 years. Sounds simple, right? It wasn’t. Predicting the future never is. But we had to start somewhere, and so we began with futuristic inspiration while staying grounded in Parkour’s history. Below is a collage of the photos we used as the initial inspiration for the Take Flight 1.0. We drew from Tron with the purpose of making a shoe that was sleek, refined, efficient and yet brilliantly captivating. And of course, at the center of it all is a famous picture of David Belle (he looks a bit like the Flight Man, doesn’t he?). We are thrilled with the final Take Flight 1.0 shoe as we feel it captures the aura and essence of these photos. But we’re not done yet. Even though the original Take Flight 1.0 is solid black, keep your eyes out in the coming years for Take Flight 1.0 modifications that reflect the brilliant colors of Tron.
Click here to see the full album of photos:https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151963357568548.1073741859.96044803547&type=3
26 Days ‘Til Launch – Every Detail Mattered
Here is a photo of one of our initial concept renderings for the Take Flight 1.0. It shows the importance that each detail had and the depth to which we scrutinized every aspect of the shoe’s design and construction. As cool as this shoe looks, a few aspects made it non-conducive for the demands of Parkour. But we built off concept drawings such as this, took out the aspects that were weak, replaced them with better ones, improved the sole design for better grip, and we also decided to go with solid black colorway for the 1st edition. The result is a Parkour shoe without rival called the Take Flight 1.0. We spent 2 years working on every detail so you’d love it from the first day you put it on. And we guarantee you will or your money back. It’s part of our TSG (Traceur Satisfaction Guarantee) .
25 Days ‘Til Launch – Function Took Precedence and the Design Evolved
The photo we posted yesterday was our original-final design. We loved it just as much as you guys did. But there were functional problems with this shoe including a lack of flexibility based on various design components, and there were too many slits in the upper which allowed debris to get stuck in the shoe while Tracing. Also, as much as we loved the black and blue color combo, we felt the initial 1.0 shoe needed to be made of a solid colorway that was more versatile. So we continued refining the design inching closer and closer to the final version. This was our next set of renditions.
24 Days ‘Til Launch – The Outsole Design was Crucial
One of the most important design focuses we had when developing the Take Flight 1.0 was the outsole design. Why? Well of course when doing Parkour, grip is so, so, so important! And that often relies quite strongly on the tread design of your shoe’s outsole. Worth noting, we didn’t want a flat bottom sole like other Parkour shoes – we wanted something with texture, or as we call it “grip design.” The importance we put on making the grip design perfect is highlighted in the fact that it took us more than 8 months of designing and testing to get the sole right! Here are 6 of the about 120 sole designs we made in a quest to create the perfect outsole. So how did we do? Well that’s something you’ll have to decide when you wear the shoes But the first time Take Flight pro Joey Adrian wore the 1.0s he emphatically approved when he said, “The Take Flight 1.0s have the best grip on rails of any shoe without a doubt.” We humbly think you’ll agree.
23 Days ‘Til Launch – 4 Stripes Inspired by Bruce Lee
The finishing touch on the upper design of the Take Flight 1.0 were the stripes. Originally there were 7 stripes on the side, then it was reduced to 6, then all the way to 3. We didn’t like any of them though! And most importantly, like everything we make at Take Flight, there had be real meaning behind the design decision, and without this we were stumped all the more and incapable of deciding. However, one of the original visions for the 1.0 was to make the shoe look strong and stealthy like a tiger. So Take Flight 1.0 designer Adam Dunlap went back to this vision. The stripes, being made in the image of a tiger claw scrape, led Dunlap to Bruce Lee and Enter the Dragon. Sure enough there were four claw marks on Lee during the final epic scene of the film, so we decided to pay homage to this by giving the Take Flight 1.0 four stripes as well. And how does this relate to Parkour, you ask? Well Parkour founder David Belle is actually a Bruce Lee fanatic and was no doubt inspired in many ways during his training by the accomplishments and legacy of Lee. So adding this design aspect into the shoe as homage to Bruce Lee’s final and most epic film, not only acknowledges a legend (Lee) that has inspired many Traceurs, it also gives credit to some of the inspiration that made Parkour what it is.
Stay tuned into our Facebook page for all the insight and news about the Take Flight 1.0s, set to ship worldwide on July 15th!
CLICK HERE to find out more about the Take Flight vision to support Parkour, Traceurs, and communities everywhere!