Nike’s commitment to innovation was on full display in 2015, and the Swoosh has identified six unique designs from the past year that underscore its goal of furthering human potential. First up is Nike Flyease, utilizing a wrap-around zipper that opens the back of the shoe, near the heel-counter, for easy in and out. The technology started with a letter from Matthew Walzer, who has cerebral palsy. He wrote to Nike asking for a Nike basketball shoe with ease of entry, the letter reached designer Tobie Hatfield, who had been working on a footwear project for Special Olympians, and a collaboration was born.
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Nike developed the Cooling Hood for decathlete Ashton Eaton, who was training for the summer’s IAAF World Championships in Beijing. The hood, made with a structural frame holding cooling inner layers close to the face, was a product of findings by the Nike Sports Research Lab (NSRL) on the physiological gains of cooling the face.
Nike brought Flyknit to the small-sided game with the Nike FootballX collection, featuring both indoor court and turf versions of the MagistaX, MercurialX and HypervenomX. Each silhouette was designed to take on the unique surfaces and underfoot-play of small-sided football.
Nike’s AeroReact technology was made to keep athletes cool under pressure, featuring natural thermoregulation properties developed by the Nike Explore Team (NXT) Sport Research Lab. The lightweight fabric is able to respond to changes in a runner’s body temperature by detecting moisture vapor, and the structure of the bi-component yarn then opens to maximize breathability, facilitating evaporation and keeping the wearer cool.
On the 30th anniversary of Back to the Future, Nike finally made a pop culture fixture a reality: the self-lacing Nike Mag. The shoe’s power laces are made with an individually responsive system that senses the wearer’s motion delivers adaptive, on-demand comfort and support. It’s a technology the brand that will be testing across all sports.
Now reaching almost three decades, Nike’s commitment to training continues with the release of the Metcon 1, a lightweight, strong and incredibly versatile silhouette, furthering the brand’s legacy of footwear serving the multidimensional needs of high-intensity competitive training.