Unlike other brands, Nike does its chemistry in-house, and its foams are the product of years of experimentation. One early success was Lunarlon, a blend of EVA and bouncy nitrile rubber that debuted in the Lunaracer in 2008 and won a following for its springy, responsive feel. More recently, Nike released React foam in the Epic React Flyknit in 2017. Designers honed the formula to maximize cushioning, energy return, and durability while maintaining a low weight. RW lab tests on the Epic React confirm the foam’s impressive balance of softness and bounce, and testers felt a noticeable improvement from Lunarlon-based shoes.
We can follow the runners in our data with this measure in mind, testing whether a runner’s fastest time is more likely when he or she switches to any kind of shoe. Mandapat said that her very first pair of retro’d Air Jordan XIs were less than $100 at the time she bought them — she estimates around $80-$85 — since she’s able to wear kids’ sizes. In 2018, when the shoes retro’d again, she remembered the kids’ sizes costing $180. More than 110,000 athletes uploaded data for more than one marathon, and about 47,000 uploaded data for three or more marathons. The Strava data allows us to follow these repeat racers over time and as they change shoes.
Just as fashion trends come and go, the brand’s sales dipped in 2014. Matt Cohen, a sneaker collector and the vice president of business development and strategy at GOAT Group, told Business Insider he believed this dip was due to a shift in fashion and a lack of consumer connection to Jordan, the man. Running shoes, training shoes, basketball shoes, football shoes, tennis shoes – you name the sport and Nike has a shoe for it! Every sports shoe of Nike is intricately designed factoring in the most minute specifications of the sport in question. In short – Nike pushes you to deliver your best performance each time you’re on the field.
The company that would become one of the biggest names in sports began with a guy selling imported shoes from the back of his car. Phil Knight, a former runner for the University of Oregon, started Blue Ribbon Sports in 1962 to sell Onitsuka (later known as Asics) shoes in the US. In 1964, his former coach, Bill Bowerman, joined him and began experimenting with new running shoe designs, and that itch to push the envelope has been a Nike hallmark ever since. Although it’s now a global behemoth, Nike has maintained a strong commitment to creating shoes that help runners go faster and longer.
The sneaker brand is launching a shoe specifically designed for doctors, nurses and medical professional s who are on their feet for hours at a time. The $120 Air Zoom Pulse — available for purchase on Dec. 14 — was to created to secure the foot in all hospital conditions,” according to a press release. Someone can run a personal best for all kinds of reasons unrelated to shoes. A runner may train more, execute a better strategy on race day or run an easier course. Regardless, we found that runners who switched to these shoes were more likely to run their fastest race than runners who switched to any other kind of popular shoe.