Meet Our Team – Hutch, The Designer
- by Robert Thorpe, September 15, 2022
Comfort is Our DNA
When you buy a bike, you wrap yourself around the bike and hopefully get the size that best allows you do that. When you’re looking at purchasing a new cycling shoe, the shoe needs to literally wrap itself around you - or your foot, to be precise. Here at Lake, comfort is in our DNA, and it’s the strand that we weave into every finished product. How we achieve ultimate foot comfort for you, the cyclist, is through the materials that we choose and the design of the shoe, ensuring that it becomes your shoe, and forms a second skin around your feet.
The Mechanics of Design
Thankfully, we have Hutch, our chief designer and a guy who’s been at Lake, designing Cycling shoes for rider's feet all over the world, for over 24 years now. And, the words which opened this blog belong to him - it’s the thought process that Hutch employs when designing every shoe in the Lake Cycling range. Once you know a little bit more about our team here at Lake, we hope that you’ll realise and understand the importance that we give to your comfort when cycling.
That drive and passion to create a supremely comfortable cycling shoe is always born within the mind of Hutch, a graduate of the School of Art Institute of Chicago. Early in his art studies, the young illustrator switched his course to design, feeling that this was where he could create and use his passion for how things moved and how they performed. As a youngster, he’d grown up with a fascination for seeing how things worked and how they could work, with a little bit of research and development. How things worked in unison – like the shoe and the foot. His father had owned an aircraft mechanics business, and Hutch had learned from working alongside him, the concepts of engineering, before developing his own combination of art and design, creating objects that both looked good and performed extremely well.
The Sum of All Parts
When you consider a cycling shoe, or indeed a foot, it’s a complex piece of engineering, with so many different parts to it. Did you know for instance, that a cycling shoe is a combination of 30 to 50 unique components, all of which have to come together in the right way, and wrap themselves around the complexities of your own individual feet, allowing them to work in the best way for you. Thankfully, Hutch has the mind of an engineer as well as the heart of an artist, and it’s his job to make sure that those 50 parts all come together work perfectly in unison.
Designing a cycling shoe, from start to finish is a long process, but thankfully it’s also a labour of love for Hutch, who enjoys the challenge of making something that’s meaningful. He learned his trade at the hands of the Italian sports shoe legend, Sante Mazzarolo, taking forward the mantra that every rider has their own variations and individual needs. Adjustability, fit, and comfort are the key words in design process, so that the finished shoe becomes a second skin around your feet, and allows you to perform at your very best. Once you’ve worn a pair of Lake Cycling shoes - a shoe designed by Hutch, you won’t want to wear anything else, and your feet will thank you on every ride.
A Love for the Design Process
Talking to Hutch is fascinating, as his love for engineering and design is clearly evident in everything that he says. He talks about the basic ingredients of the shoe: the component products supplied by BOA, Vibram and others, all being the same ingredients that other cycling shoe manufacturers have access to. What Hutch does with these ingredients in the creation process, and what he’s actually quite brilliant at, is to make them into something unique. He creates a cycling shoe for your feet to ‘live in’, because your feet have their own individuality and uniqueness in volume, arch and foot shape. Here at Lake, we take these designs and then add multiple lasts and shoe widths to the equation, so that our cycling shoes cater for and are accessible and compatible with all cyclists.
They’re designed and made to last you a long time, and to ensure that you and your feet are wrapped in comfort when riding, because ultimately that comfort equals maximum performance. As Hutch says himself, our DNA at Lake is comfort, and once you’ve worn our shoes, your feet won’t want to wear anything else – and you’ve got Hutch to thank for that.
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