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The Year in Nike Innovation

Six designs in 2015 that underscore the company’s commitment to furthering human potential.

Nike Flyease


It started with a letter: Matthew Walzer, who has cerebral palsy, wrote to Nike campaigning for a shoe design with ease of entry, based on his beloved Nike basketball silhouettes. This letter, written when Walzer was still in high school, reached Nike’s renowned designer Tobie Hatfield, who had been studying the footwear needs of Special Olympians, and a collaboration was born. FlyEase introduces a wrap-around zipper solution that opens the back of the shoe near the heel-counter, making it easier to slide the foot in and out. At the same time, the system provides sufficient lockdown and eliminates the need to tie traditional laces.

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Cooling Hood

Cooling Hood
The prototype cooling hood is displayed on a 3D print of Eaton's head.

On the road to breaking the decathlon world record at this summer’s IAAF World Championships in Beijing, Ashton Eaton debuted the Cooling Hood, an advanced prototype that furthers Nike’s tradition of design innovations that enhance the body’s natural thermoregulation process. The sleek design, comprised of a structural frame holding cooling inner layers close to the face, reflects research by Nike Sports Research Lab (NSRL) on the physiological gains of cooling the face. Moreover, it is inspired by Eaton’s experiential insight into the psychological benefits of applying cold water on the head during a grueling competition.

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Nike Football X

After bringing Flyknit technology to the pitch in 2014, Nike Football focused on adapting the innovation to the small-sided game. The NikeFootballX collection, which remixed the groundbreaking Magista and Mercurial Superfly, was built to suit the turf of Mexico City, the cages of Berlin and the streets of São Paulo. Available in both indoor court and turf versions, the MagistaX, MercurialX and HypervenomX cater to the unique surfaces and underfoot-play intrinsic to small-sided football, whereas myriad colorway options connect the dots between sneaker and street football cultures.   

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Nike AeroReact


Every athlete knows the importance of staying cool under pressure, but sometimes the body needs a little help. Enter AeroReact, a Nike technology designed to enhance natural thermoregulation capabilities, developed by the Nike Explore Team (NXT) Sport Research Lab from runner insights. The lightweight fabric responds to changes in a runner’s body temperature by detecting moisture vapor; the structure of the bi-component yarn then opens to maximize breathability, facilitate evaporation and keep the wearer cool.

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The 2015 Nike Mag

Nike Mag 2015

Nearly 30 years ago, Nike reinvented the conventional shoe lacing system, integrating it into an inimitable design that became an enduring beacon of popular culture: the Nike Mag. This year, Nike designers pushed their original inspiration further and introduced the 2015 Nike Mag, a limited-edition sneaker that truly puts the future in the wearer’s hands. Using digital technology to create never-before-seen “power laces” that replicate the self-fastening action of the original footwear, the shoe offers an individually responsive system that senses the wearer’s motion, providing uniquely adaptive comfort and support.

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Metcon 01

Nike’s commitment to training spans 27 years — beginning with the debut of the genre-defining Nike Air Trainer 1. Lightweight, strong and incredibly versatile, the Metcon 1 extends this legacy by redefining the way in which footwear serves the multidimensional needs of high-intensity competitive training. The shoe's durable, wrap-around midsole defends against abrasive rope climbs while its stable heel supports heavy lifting. The flexible, sticky forefoot is ideal for movements like box jumps, burpees and pushups. 

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