From launching a shoe that ties its own laces, to showcasing a football boot that is mud-resistant, Nike demonstrated why they are leaders in the field. Here’s a quick look at some of the products and technologies released at the Innovation Summit…
HITTING STRIDE FOR A SUMMER OF SPORT – NATIONAL FOOTBALL KITS
At the Innovation Summit, Nike unveiled the National Football Kits for a host of teams that will be competing at the 2016 European Championship in France this summer.
The new kits, which will be available in stores and online worldwide on March 24, feature Nike’s new AeroSwift technology.
“We did extensive research with players on what their ultimate future uniform would entail and themes started to emerge around fit, breathability and a superhero aesthetic,” says Martin Lotti, Nike’s Creative Director.
“Once we visualised what was possible, we aggressively accelerated bringing the future forward with a complete system of dress built for speed.”
Making that vision a reality began with a new yarn. Nike’s design team tested hundreds of yarns before identifying the perfect properties for ensuring breathability sans opacity.
“We got right down to the filament level and re-mastered it for a texturised surface that helps disband moisture better.”
The result is a kit that wicks sweat away from the skin 20 per cent faster than Nike’s most recent football kits, while also drying 25 per cent faster. The texturised yarn is fuller than previous iterations, which enables Nike to use less yarn without risking transparency.
As a result, Nike Vapor kits with AeroSwift are 10 per cent lighter, with 50 per cent more stretch than the kits they replace. The new yarn also has a brushed quality to it that feels better against the skin.
For the first time, the kit shorts are knitted from the same yarn as the jersey. Previous shorts have always been woven, which is more restrictive, but AeroSwift yarn pro vides the optimum combination of lightweight stretch and structure necessary to achieve a knit short.
The short features a knitted mesh yoke in back and a flat-finish waistband that eliminates the need for a drawstring.
“Once you experience the new waistband,” says Lotti, “It immediately seems antiquated to have ever tied a string around your waist to keep you shorts up.”
Nike Vapor kits with AeroSwift technology will debut on the federations of England, Brazil, France, Portugal and the United States.
Where to buy: Nike.com, Nike stores
Price range: Match jersey Dh669, Stadium jersey Dh399
THE PINNACLE OF PERFORMANCE – NIKE AIR ZOOM KD9
Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant unveiled the new Nike Air Zoom KD9, which he will be wearing at the Rio 2016 Olympics this August.
Just as its namesake personifies a progressive style of play, the KD9 represents the evolution of basketball footwear.
In response to Durant’s trademark versatility and impressive court coverage, it offers support, comfort and responsiveness via the most advanced construction of Nike Flyknit and Air Zoom technologies to date, adapted to basketball’s specifications.
Designed by Leo Chang, the low-cut shoe features a Flyknit upper engineered down to the pixel for maximum containment.
Specifically, it features a pattern with a distinct honeycomb structure precisely knitted for the multidimensional movement of basketball and Durant’s lateral quickness. Flyknit technology engineering locks down the forefoot while still allowing the foot to move naturally.
Flyknit’s efficient material use also ensures the upper is lightweight, without compromising strength.
“Kevin Durant and I have been working together since his first shoe, which debuted in 2008, and it’s been an amazing journey watching his game evolve over the years and it’s been a great challenge too to make sure that the design of his product also evolves,” said Chang.
“So we look at his movements, he’s so effortless and so fluid, we also want to make sure that he’s protected for the full season.
From pre-season through to the post-season, literally he would’ve logged 15 marathons on his body, that’s pretty intense. We’ve kept that in mind and designed the KD9.”
Where to buy: Nike.com, Nike stores in the UAE starting June 25
YOU WON’T BE STUCK IN THE MUD – NIKE ANTI-CLOG TRACTION
The beautiful game is not always played in beautiful conditions – mud is a common opponent for all football players.
It clogs their cleats, weighs down their boots and can cause players to lose footing altogether.
“Mud has always presented unfortunate but seemingly accepted problems. Players are accustomed to clanking their boots together as they exit the pitch or rubbing them over harsh brushes to remove mud. Worse, they play slower and cautiously as mud makes their feet heavy and compromises their traction,” says Max Blau, VP of Nike Football Footwear.
“Nike Football is focused on playing fast in all conditions, so we are committed to solving this problem for athletes.”
Nike Anti-Clog Traction prevents mud from clogging the sole plate of Nike’s football boots and will initially be available in limited quantities via the Nike Football App on April 15 (not in the UAE).
These special versions of the current Tiempo, Magista and Hypervenom models carry the Nike Anti-Clog Traction hexagon mark on the heel.
BACKWARD TO GO FORWARD – NIKE HYPERADAPT 1.0
In 1989, shoe designer Tinker Hatfield created the futuristic self-tying iconic shoes that were worn by Marty McFly in the film ‘Back to the Future II’.
Almost three decades later, Hatfield, along with Tiffany Beers, Senior Innovator at Nike Inc. have teamed up to produce a shoe inspired by that ‘Back to the Future’ version.
They’re calling it the Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 and the shoe is set to be available to the masses during the holiday season end of this year.
No price range has been revealed yet for the shoe but it will undoubtedly have a significant price tag on it.
“When you step in, your heel will hit a sensor and the system will automatically tighten,” explains Beers, the project’s technical lead.
“Then there are two buttons on the side to tighten and loosen. You can adjust it until it’s perfect.”
For Hatfield, the innovation solves another enduring athlete equipment quandary: the ability to make swift micro-adjustments.
Undue pressure caused by tight tying and slippage resulting from loose laces are now relics of the past. Precise, consistent, personalised lockdown can now be manually adjusted on the fly.
“That’s an important step, because feet undergo an incredible amount of stress during competition,” he says.
Where to buy: Available only to members of Nike+ (in the US) Holiday 2016 in three colors.
Billabong lead the way as far as surfing apparel is concerned, having been associated with quality design designed to last for over four decades, endorsed by many at the top of the sport.
Now, the new Platinum X range of shorts has hit stores across Dubai ahead of the summer months and the Australian brand have once more produced a product both stylish and durable.
Designed to stretch when you stretch, repel water, stay light, stop chaffing, last a lifetime, and best yet, are made with the environment in mind—each pair is manufactured from approximately 25 recycled PET plastic bottles.
WHAT: Billabong Platinum X boardshorts
WHERE: Stores Dubai-wide
PRICE: AED 325
Adorned with the ‘Birds of Paradise’ print, Le Coq believe that ‘used as an accent or all over, on a black or white background, the Le Coq Sportif’s Bird of Paradise pack shoes in the pack – Arthur Ashe, LCS R900, Eclat and Lamarina – wear this print as a tribute to travel and distant lands’.
They highlight the Spring-Summer 2016 season’s tropical trend, a chance to get away, footed in sneakers that will carry you off to unexplored countries.
Price: Ranging from Dh244-Dh421
Where to Buy: Level Shoe District, The Dubai Mall