South African Running

Launch a running shoe brand

The Dream and the Challenge:

Develop a running shoe for South African runners designed by South African runners.

“What is the perfect running shoe for South Africans?” The Pivot & Run shoe would need a firm structure for long-distance running, fatigue-reducing underfoot comfort, and high energy return for long efficient strides.  

How to Get your Shoe Brand Started

As the crew at Pivot worked tirelessly on their shoe design, they realized they needed the help of a professional to transfer their ideas to paper. They needed someone to create the technical drawings a factory could use for their midsole technology. And they had very little idea of the actual cost to make their dream shoe. Big questions were piling up. Would their design be profitable? What type of start-up costs would they incur? Where would they find a footwear cost engineer? How would they find a factory they could trust to make a quality product for their brand? Undoubtedly, the team agreed they needed a running-shoe-making coach!

A Running Shoe Shoemaking Coach

Roger, Alex, and Grant wanted to move faster. With every discussion regarding the Forge V1 running shoe, the wall of questions seemed to grow taller and taller. They were out of answers and out of their field of expertise. They decided to reach out to the SneakerFactory for a consultation. It was a good move. Wade, “The Shoe Dog,” was readily available, easy to talk to, and had answers to help with the tough questions. The product knowledge of the Pivot team, combined with the technical and manufacturing experience of the SneakerFactory, was the complete package. Working together, Pivot & Run saved countless hours of research and development time and thousands of dollars worth of trial and error mistakes. SneakerFactory helped Roger, Alex, and Grant organize and complete their product design brief right away and quickly move forward.

Lockdown to Launch in 18 months

With the design brief in hand and the help of experienced expert Shoe Dogs like Wade Motawi and his development partners at DMC sourcing, the Pivot running dream was racing into development. In just eight weeks, the Pivot team had factory-ready design specifications, and their development timeline was moving ahead. Decidedly, their next step was to open their outsole tooling and then directly onto sample production.


The Pivot & Run Forge V1 Running shoe

The ambitious team at Pivot had specific goals for product performance that required innovative new technology. Of course, footwear development is not easy, and keeping a production schedule moving forward is challenging under the best conditions. Additionally, the Covid pandemic was raging, international travel prohibited, and they needed feet and eyes on the ground at their factory in Asia. In collaboration with the experts at SneakerFactory, the trio at Pivot had the advantage of strong factory connections in the far east. The sourcing expertise helped Roger, Alex, and Grant complete the Pivot upper designs and to refine the specialized running outsole tooling without leaving home.

When the development samples arrived in Capetown, the Pivot team hit the road once again. This time with fully functional prototypes. Many miles later, the Pivot team perfected their design and launched their brand to retail. You can now see the final results!

Pivot & Run shoes are now available in the South African market and selling well to South African runners of all levels.

Visit Pivot & Run online

Are you looking to reach your goals faster? Is the wall you’re facing getting higher every day? “The Shoe Dog” can help.

Reach out for a consultation. Fast-track your project with help from 1-on-1 consulting sessions. “The Shoe Dog” is available to coach you and your team. Together we can make your product better and help to reach your goals faster. If you’re looking to save time and money and go deeper into footwear design, manufacturing, and brand-building, we can direct you to courses, workshops, and/or consulting for your level and project. 

We love to hear from our shoemaking community. What is your biggest shoemaking challenge? Email us at: [email protected]