DESIGN REVIEW: NIKE LUNAREPIC LOW 2
Great design constantly finds weird and unusual ways to awe and inspire you. That's exactly why this blog post is going to be talking about both lizards and new nike trainer technology in the same breath. Standard.
Last week I was invited along to an event with Nike. Now this is a bit of a different one for me - if you're reading this you'll probably know I am a bit of a sportswear aficionado, and due to my newly found love for exercise I wasn't completely shitting myself at the thought of having to go on a 'short run' (just slightly though), but I wasn't quite sure how this would fit into being content for a design blog. I wanted to go along anyway, because... umm hello it's Nike?!
After chatting with the other lovely bloggers who had come down to meet at Aprés, a new cute cafe with super delicious healthy food in Farringdon, I was gifted a full kit of Nike gear ahead of our run. How lucky am I?!
I've had so many pairs of Nike kicks over the years that I really didn't think I could find something that would really 'wow' me comfort wise... and then I put on the Lunar Epic Low 2.
These trainers are literally like putting on a pair of slippers. I kid you not. They feel springy and bouncy and supportive in all of the right places. Like really cosy socks that have the most walking-on-air feel.
I found our run coach Becs and the Nike rep to a) get some tips on not passing out in my first outdoor run for years and b) learn more about these incredible things that were on my feet.
Designed with runners in mind, the Lunarepic Low 2 ( bit of a mouthful) have a sole that was inspired by the foot of the gecko. Yes people, a lizard.
I mean, I got the visual reference and I thought, 'aww that's cute', but it turns out these little creatures inspired the Nike design team with their grippy foot structure.
I always do say the best design inspiration comes from nature...
You can read more about the incredible gecko structure here, and via these guys who are creating some kind of super adhesive using gecko foot technology. MAD!
I was pretty fascinated by this and equally the lacing technology that ensures that by pulling your laces tight you actually have structural support down the sides of the shoe too.
The foamy, spongy base layer had been laser cut to create a 'spring' effect and feet had been pressure mapped to provide targeted cushioning to the important parts.
A few days later, I was watching the new Netflix series 'Abstract - the art of design' and ended up watching the episode with Tinker Hatfield, one of Nike's original and most exciting footwear designers. Hearing him talk about the start of Nike and the current developments they are working on really brought things full circle. It was a happy coincidence that it was something we had started watching around the same time as I was invited to the Nike event. Or was it? I'm sure the universe is constantly conspiring to inspire me with weird stuff all the time.
I've walked (or should I say lightly jogged?) away from this feeling re-inspired by Nike. There I was thinking it was all about the look. I mean, I knew they were into their fabrics and what not but I hadn't ever really thought about the levels of design technology and functionality for something like running. I guess that's what they do best though - provide amazing technological advances in footwear for athletes.
Whilst I wonder if I will ever be able to design something that not only looks great but feels incredible, I'll be wandering about my house in the Lunar Epic Low 2, because basically, my slippers are now completely redundant.