Nike Cortez

The Air Jordan III is Cohen’s “favorite shoe of all time.” It was the first shoe to feature the Jumpman logo on the tongue. Anyone who saw Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya break the two-hour marathon barrier in October very likely saw something else, too: the thick-soled Nike running shoes on his feet, and, in a blaze of pink, on the feet of the pacers surrounding him. Since 1971, Nike and its famous Swoosh logo have become global powerhouses in the sportswear industry, supporting athletes from grass roots to elite as well as producing streetwear for the coolest of cats.

The Peg has been a favorite in Nike’s running lineup for decades, and the latest iteration comes with several changes in the upper (it’s also available in a trail version ). Nike added larger perforations in the mesh for better cooling at high temperatures, and the tongue and heel collar are trimmed to save weight and improve the fit. The midsole is the same soft, bouncy combo of Cushlon foam matched with a full-length Zoom Air unit, and Nike carried over the grippy rubber outsole from the last version, too.

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.

With her feet wrapped up and the Nike tick front and centre along with Nike scribbled along the heel, Bullos dominated the field at the Iloilo Schools Sports Council Meet. Mandapat started collecting Air Jordans in the year 2000, when she was a junior in high school. That was the year that Nike started to “retro” — or bring back into the market — certain Jordan styles. Her very first pair were the Air Jordan XIs. Nike describes the kicks as feeling like a soft, snug hug” and notes that they feature an easy-to-clean design. A coated toe box protects against all kinds of spills. Most importantly, they are comfortable to wear for long periods of time: Nike found that nurses walk four to five miles and sit for less than an hour during their 12-hour workday.

Hana Mandapat in a pair of Air Jordans. Many brands offer woven mesh designs, but Nike’s features are built to match the way your foot moves as you stride. They create a secure, sock-like fit where you need it and greater breathability and flexibility in other areas—all without piecing together different materials. The cheapest of Nike’s three trail shoes, the Wildhorse has proven to be a capable performer through all kinds of off-road conditions. A rock plate in the midsole protects your feet from debris underfoot, and a Zoom Air unit in the heel adds responsive cushioning to propel you forward. The beefy lugged outsole is designed to dig into dirt and mud, and Nike added a sticky rubber compound under the forefoot for extra traction in slick conditions.

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