ARTICLE PATRIK SANDBERG
NIKE UNVEILS ITS LATEST INNOVATION, THE VAPOR CARBON FOOTBALL CLEAT AND AN ACCOMPANYING SILVER COLLECTION DESIGNED SPECIFICALLY FOR SUPER BOWL XLVIII
Yesterday in Chelsea, Nike designers were joined by Olympic sprinter Michael Johnson to unveil their latest innovation at an event called the Nike Speed Summit. The product in question is the new Nike Vapor Carbon 2014 Elite Football Cleat, a design years in the making but executed in only six months. Johnson worked with Nike's deisgners, bio-mechanists, coaches, trainers, and athletes, who zeroed in on his particular specialty, the 40-yard dash. Once they could determine patterns in speed and acceleration, their research lasered in on the "zero step" in running—the point at which an athlete first pushes off the ground, typically resulting in a slight backward slide. To combat this slide, the Vapor Carbon utilizes six strategically-positioned cleats modeled on the shape of a gardener's shovel around the forefront of the shoe. Using 3D printing technology, the team was able to create numerous prototypes at unprecedented frequency, resulting in twelve viable shoe designs.
Famous for his gold Nike sneakers that he wore to victory at the Olympic games, Johnson now extends his color-coded mindset to the NFL, where silver is the highest honor. Basing the cleats and the Silver Speed collection on the design of the Vince Lombardi Trophy, Johnson and Nike have created chic and functional ranges of clothing and shoes for on-field, sideline, training, and lifestyle.
Most eye-grabbing are the Nike Vapor Shield Gloves, which form a Super Bowl XLVIII logo when joined together (above) and the too-fresh-to-handle Nike Lunar Terra Arktos Boots, which had everybody at the symposium foaming at the mouth and reaching for their wallets.
While the pro-gear, including the cleats, will debut exclusively on the field at the Super Bowl, the other items will be available at Nike outlets and Nike.com in the coming weeks.
IMAGES COURTESY OF NIKE