Tech.. but in your running shoes? Nike launches Nike Free RN
If you told me a few months ago I’d be writing posts about the technology in a pair of running shoes I’d have laughed hysterically. But I’ve been on a fitness kick and trying to be a healthier individual. Suddenly things like tech in running shoes is something I’m interested in. Go figure!
This week I was invited to a sneaker launch. I figured I’d pitch up, eat a few snacks, mingle and snap a few pictures of a shoe. Um… no. I arrived and was handed a little box and in it was a key to a locker. On opening the locker I found running kit and a pair of the new Nike Free RN sneakers. I was then told to suit up because we were going running.
You need to understand – I don’t run.
Only recently have I started running roughly 6 minutes on the treadmill. I once did 7. That was a big deal. To suddenly be faced with the daunting task of running 4km made me sick to my stomach. However, the Nike Run Club (basically a real life extension of the app) is possibly the best place to start if you’re someone like me. I ended up running 4km and only walking a short distance up a hill. The pace set was spot on and I felt like a rockstar at the end! I’ll be doing an app review of NRC soon so watch this space!
However, this is not about me it is about the running shoe.
It’s interesting how technology develops. We’re seeing, more and more, a return to natural. Around 5 years ago shoe designers began to start creating running shoes that mimicked the barefoot feeling because it was a far more comfortable way to run. However, if you’ve ever run barefoot on tar you’d know it isn’t ideal. So the thought process was to design a shoe that would mimic the barefoot action of your foot while still giving you the necessary support.
I’ve run in the Nike Free RN shoes and they are incredible. It really does feel like you’re barefoot which is awesome. Your foot expands and contracts during liftoff and take off so the shoe incorporates an auxetic midsole which allows your foot to contract accordingly. There’s also a multi-directional outsole flexibility allowing a change of shape to accommodate linear or multi-directional movement (so running and training).
The running shoe has flexible support courtesy of a mesh type fabric and is thin and lightweight. The sole is supported with a new softer IU foam. There are a host of other shoes in the Nike Free RN range depending on your needs.
There is a lot of thought and study that goes in to perfecting a running shoe: using gate tests and studying human movement before determining and designing the best materials to do the job. It’s incredible to think about the technology going into your running shoe!
The Nike Free RN shoes are available at Nike stores from today (7 April 2016).
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