This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

“It’s Gotta Be the Shoes!”: Kansei Design Feel of Basketball Shoes and Athlete Perceptions




Green, Alexandra

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Consumer and Design Sciences


Research shows that for athletic shoes, visual attributes such as color and style can be more important than ergonomic or technical attributes in purchase decisions. Kansei engineering is one method commonly used in product development to understand emotions and their linkages with specific design characteristics, which can then be used to design products that communicate the desired ‘feel’. The current study posits that the design characteristics of shoes and the emotions that they elicit can be statistically grouped together, creating Kansei design feels that have applications for product development, marketing, and mass customization. An exploratory study using male millennial athletes revealed four design feels for basketball shoes, which are associated with differing design characteristics. These design feels were further analyzed to understand their relationships with consumer delight, perceived athletic performance enablement (PAPE), and wear intention, ultimately revealing the ideal design of basketball shoes to influence athletes’ emotions, perceptions, and behaviors.