Over the course of his career, industrial designer Michael DiTullo has designed everything from consumer electronics to soft goods, from toys to automotive work and, in his time at Nike and with the Jordan Brand, plenty of footwear for famous basketball players. But a year or two ago, he was at this stage on a multi-year project for a rather unusual piece of footwear without a well-known athlete's name attached: That is—or ultimately would become—the Foot Defender. Technically speaking...

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