Musings on shoe design from FFMP's head shoe geek
It’s been 10 years of running free! Hooray for the latest update to the Nike Free, now available at Fleet Feet Menlo Park.
This shoe has its origins right here at Stanford University. Back in 2001 Vin Lannana, then Stanford's coach, knew that to have a successful team he need to to have an injury-free team. He was convinced that barefoot running was a key reason his athletes were running injury free and strong.
Stanford has a gorgeous campus and golf course; the rest of us don’t! So Nike set out to create a shoe that simulates barefoot running on grass. In order to do this while still protecting the foot with foam, Nike needed to rethink its materials. Foam platforms at that time were slabs. In Nike's Innovation Kitchen, product designers used an ice cube tray concept to create flexible foam.
Over the course of 10 years, the Free has become something more than a shoe. It’s been a fashion statement; a serious trainer; a foot strengthening tool; even a lightning rod (in Christopher McDougall's "Born to Run").
In the current lineup, Nike returns with a legitimate training tool -- that's pretty sweet looking too!. As Nike says, “if you have a body, you are an athlete.” So if you have a body, come check out the new Free line up!