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Age Range: 11-14 | 14-16
Duration: 60 or more mins
  • D&T

Designing the trainers of the future

Designing footwear for sports use

Trainers are one of the most commonly worn shoes in our culture. They provide comfortable support for our feet as we go about our active lives as students, athletes, educators and engineers. The design of trainers (and all athletic shoes) is based on how they will be used and is an example of bioengineering.

This activity introduces the concept of research through product analysis to support the design process. The main activity involves designing a trainer.

Activity info, teachers’ notes and curriculum links

In this activity, learners will use the theme of marathons and athletics to respond to a design context, investigate existing products for inspiration and design a trainer.

This activity could be used as a main lesson activity to develop skills in designing. It could also be used to introduce the review of existing products to inspire design solutions.

Tools/resources required

  • Pens, pencils and drawing instruments
  • Variety of trainers/shoes for comparison

Download the free activity sheets below!

All activity sheets and supporting resources are free to download and are fully editable, so you can tailor them to your students’ and your schools’ needs.

The activity sheet includes teacher notes, guidance, useful web links, and links (where appropriate) to the national curriculum in each of the four devolved UK nations; England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

And please do share your learning highlights and final creations with us on social media @IETeducation or send them via email to

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