Training Gets Personal with Michelle Wie: The Nike Free TR 5 on NIKEiD
December 15, 2014
Michelle Wie knows how to make a statement. The 25-year-old burst onto the professional golf scene when she was just 12 years old, started playing in men’s professional tournaments when she was 14, and captured the U.S. Women’s Open this past year.
The Hawaii native also enjoys making statements off the course with her bold and bright sense of style. Footwear, and NIKEiD in particular, is one of her favorite ways to playfully express her personality.
“I have been obsessed with NIKEiD for years,” says Wie, who claims that more than 90 percent of her sneakers are born from NIKEiD designs. “I love creating statement shoes. I love bold and fluorescent colors. Volt is amazing, and so is leopard print. Anything that makes a statement, I love.”
Most recently, Wie put her personal touch on the Nike Free TR 5, available on NIKEiD beginning in mid-December. The popular gym training shoe updates with several fresh performance features, including a new Free 5.0 outsole and an improved heel fit.
For the first time, the Nike Free TR franchise incorporates hexagonal flex grooves in the Nike Free 5.0 platform. The grooves allow the shoe to flex in multiple directions and enable the athlete’s natural motion, a tenet of all Nike Free footwear. The outsole also features rubber pods strategically placed in key wear zones to provide traction and durability.
“This outsole provides the flexibility and barefoot-like feel athletes demand when tackling a diverse set of activities in the gym,” says Nicole Mueller, Nike Women’s Training Footwear Design Director. “But the Nike Free 5.0 platform also provides the level of cushioning that many athletes look for when doing drills such as squats and sprints.”
The upper employs engineered mesh that incorporates open areas for ventilation where needed and closed areas in key training zones for support. Dynamic Nike Flywire loosens and tightens with the movement of the foot for an adaptive fit.
Knowing that female athletes tend to have high variability in heel size, Nike designers obsessed heel fit in the Free TR 5. A molded foam heel follows the shape of the Achilles tendon to deliver a secure fit without sacrificing comfort.
“One of the pillars of our Nike Women’s design ethos is flattering the female form,” Mueller says. “With this in mind, we looked to create a flattering collar line at the ankle, while still making sure the heel fit is supportive and soft.”
For Wie, the Nike Free TR 5 silhouette served as a perfect canvas for her to flex her design muscles using NIKEiD.
“I think the No. 1 goal for me when I designed the Nike Free TR 5 was for the shoe to stand out,” Wie says. “I wanted bold colors, but nothing too overwhelming. With colors that pop, everyone will be looking at the shoes and asking where I got them.”
With NIKEiD, athletes can customize everything from the laces to the midsole. Athletes can also inscribe a personal NIKEiD message on the tongue. The finished product isn’t just a reflection of personal expression; it’s also a source of motivation.
“When you train, there are some mornings when you don’t want to get out of bed and you don’t want to go to the gym,” Wie says. “But if there’s some piece of clothing or a shoe that you really get excited about, that motivates you to go to the gym. Every time I look at my NIKEiD shoe, I get pumped up to work out. It goes back to the philosophy that is so true: If you look good, you’ll feel good, which means you’ll play well.”