During the Spring of 2008 Nike had a huge presentation (Innovation Summit) about the new products and technologies it intended to showcase for the Beijing Summer Olympics. After reading the book “Sneaker Wars’, I came to realize how important the Summer Olympics are for the sports industry. Basically it is a time when the whole world is watching, and if an athlete wins gold the products that they wore will also be winners in retail (people will buy them). What better way to show people the quality of your product, then by making sure the gold medalist is wearing them. Of course that was a bigger deal a couple decades ago when Adidas and Puma were fighting one another for global dominance of the sportswear market. Today Nike is king by covering almost every sport imaginable.
Being at the top means, Nike must be cutting edge and inventive in the products they release. I’ve always loved this about Nike, they just seem to be so far ahead of the competition with their designs and quality. While retro’s are nice, new sneaker technology is what gets me most excited. For that presentation what had me most jaw-dropping excited was a material called Lunar Foam. It was first used by NASA on the space shuttle seats, and would now be used as insoles for running shoes. They would give the sneaker less weight, and be able to absorb more shocks from running. Another new innovation was Flywire. It consisted of using very complex sewing machines to stitch on a long piece of thread that was aesthetically very simple. The thread was called vectran, and was very strong and flexible.
I wanted to get a pair of Nike’s that featured Flywire and Lunar Foam as soon as they hit retail stores, but unfortunately they never released in Canada until later. When they finally came to Canada, I waited until they went on sale to purchase them. My first pair are these LunarGlide’s. I have since been able to use them for a couple of weeks now, and I really love them. The Lunar Foam did give me a little pain on my left foot initially because I wanted an arch support, but eventually my foot got used to it, and they now feel comfortable. This really impressed me about the Dynamic Support system on the shoe, which adjusts to the foot as it moves. The Flywire was also a concern initially because I always assumed the thicker material (such as leather, or nylon) would be stronger. Yet the Flywire has not only held up better, but has also given my foot more breathability. The LunarGlide also carries the Nike+ symbol, signifying that you can install an ipod sensor in the sockliner to track your calories. This shoe features the best of Nike and I highly recommend it.