After viewing athletes training barefoot in 2002, Nike set out to develop an athletic shoe that would feel more natural and weightless, simulating barefoot running. They began to study a group of male and female athletes by taping pressure-measuring insoles to their feet and using high-speed cameras to capture images of each of their feet in motion.
The team spent eight years studying the biomechanics of barefoot running. The results provided a new understanding of the human foot-s natural landing angle, pressure, and toe position and enabled the Nike designers to build an unconventional and flexible shoe from the inside out: The Nike Free.
Nike Free running and training shoes are specifically designed to let your feet move more naturally and freely than traditional athletic shoes, providing all the benefits of barefoot running with the added cushioning and protection of a shoe. The shoe\'s upper works with the midsole to provide additional support without impeding the barefoot like experience.
Nike Free shoes are assigned a number between 0 and 10, and the lower the number in the shoe\'s name, the closer that shoe is to true barefoot running. On that scale, 10 would represent a conventional shoe, while zero would be truly barefoot. In other words, the Nike Free 3.0 offers more of a barefoot feel than the Nike Free 5.0, which provides more of the cushioning and protection of a regular athletic shoe.
NIKE AIR MAX
The Air Max was first released as a running shoe in 1987, displaying a visible Air® cushioning unit to the world. That little transparent window was a hit with the crowds, and ended up with numerous colors and fabric combinations over the years, including the first all-leather Air Max released in 1988. Through the various re-issued styles and elite collaborations, the Nike Air Max has stood the test of time and continues to rank as a top sneaker style today.
The Nike Air Max 90 was introduced in 1990 with bold colors and a highly sought-after design that continued Nike’s success with the Air Max line. We can’t forget about the Air Max 95 and Air Max 97. Two retro styles with the same technology in common, but very different looks. The 95s were inspired by the human body; the spine is represented by the midsole, the muscle fibers are shown in the panels and the skin is displayed through the mesh upper fabric. This was something totally unique and made the shoe stand out from the rest. The Air Max 97 took a different approach to sneaker design with a very modern-looking style and eye-catching colors. Several retro versions of the Air Max 97 have been re-issued through the years, all displaying Nike’s full-length Air® unit for a new spin on their famous technology.
It was originally released as a running shoe and has been redesigned many times since its introduction in 1998. Like the other Air Max shoes, the Air Max Plus continues the legacy of the Nike Air Max line with modern updates and new colors without losing sight of their vintage roots. When it comes to the Air Max collection of shoes, what you see is what you get — you see the visible Air® unit, and you get the comfort and cushioning of a legend.
Iconic Kicks with a Classically Cool Profile The Nike Dunk was originally released in 1985 as a hardcore hoops shoe. After it was introduced to the world, the Nike Dunk started a commotion when basketball teams started wearing them to match their uniforms (which went against an unwritten rule at the time). New to the scene and already making a lasting impression, the Nike Dunks enjoyed a widespread following and massive popularity almost instantly. This new expression of style has lasted through the years, and Dunks have become prized shoes for sneakerheads as well as fashion statements for anyone looking to add vintage style to their shoe collection.
The Nike Dunk’s wide appeal comes not only from its retro roots, but also from its versatile look and multifunctional use. Dunks are worn as a symbol for personal style and individuality while also worn as durable shoes for skateboarding. Sneaker collectors also seek out the mad style of Nike Dunks, many of them keeping their Dunks in mint condition while leaving them in the box and always on display. Over the years, the Nike Dunk has been offered in Highs, Mids and Lows, with sizes and colors for men, women and kids. The Nike Dunk High has an old-school flavor to it while the Nike Dunk Low keeps things laid-back and stylish. No matter which one you pick, you’ll have plenty of color options, sizes and styles to choose. Start shopping now and make a serious statement on the street with a pair of Nike Dunks.
The Nike Cortez has been seen all over the country — and even the world — on the feet of actors, musicians and sneakerheads alike. It may have changed since its introduction in 1972, but its legacy remains the same: it’s one of the greatest and most recognized shoes Nike has ever created, and it’s still going strong today. Originally created by Bill Bowerman by grafting a pair of flip-flops into a pair of training shoes, the Nike Cortez was a hybrid design that changed running forever.Walking and running in the Cortez was said to be like “running on the moon” because of its superior cushioning from a dual-density foam midsole. This new design and elite functionality made the Nike Cortez into a running shoe icon and has been updated, remixed and redesigned numerous times since then. Eastbay proudly offers a variety of Nike Cortez designs, colors and sizes, for men, women and kids. The latest take on this sneaker classic takes the Cortez silhouette and infuses it with Flywire technology, creating the Nike Cortez Fly Motion. This hybrid innovation features a lighter weight, enhanced comfort and even more flexibility — retro style meets modern technology. But no matter what you’re looking for, from a retro shoe style or a pair of shoes with longevity, look no further. The Nike Cortez has been around for decades, and it just keeps getting better.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of Nike and the shoe that initiated a revolution in athletic footwear - the Cortez. Contrary to popular belief, it was neither the Nike name nor the Swoosh design trademark that elevated the popularity of this earth-shattering running shoe; it was Oregon track coach Bill Bowerman\'s relentless pledge to give his athletes a competitive advantage, and he felt that could best be accomplished through footwear innovation.
The most prominent aspect of the first installment of the Cortez was its ingenious outsole and lightweight design. Bowerman felt that a urethane outsole featuring a waffle-like pattern would be lighter and provide more traction than existing shoes. Building on his waffle sole concept, Bowerman set up shop in his kitchen, using his wife\'s waffle iron to create a plaster mold of his visionary outsole. His methods proved successful - designs and variations of Bowerman\'s inventive outsole are still used to this day on a variety of Nike\\\'s performance and lifestyle shoes.
Transition Into a Pop-Culture Icon
What started out as a classic running shoe quickly evolved into a pop-culture icon. In the 1970s, former Charlie\'s Angels star Farrah Fawcett donned the traditional white, red and blue Cortez to push pavement on the cover of World of Skateboarding magazine. Nearly two decades later, the Cortez appeared in the 1994 blockbuster film Forrest Gump. In that same decade, the shoe repeatedly showed up in episodes of Seinfeld on the feet of Jerry\'s good friend George Costanza. Fast-forward to today, and the Cortez has taken on yet another life as a sought-after collector\'s item. Why? Due to its rich running heritage, many people look back on the past and reminisce about the days when the Cortez was their sneaker of choice.
Transition Into the Modern Age
The traditional construction of the Cortez changed very little over the years until the introduction of Nike\'s patented Flywire® technology in 2008. It didn\'t take long for Nike to incorporate this lightweight technology into their famous Cortez shoe. The result: The 2009 Nike Cortez Fly Motion shoe was born, bringing this shoe into the modern age while paying homage to Bowermans original ideas about footwear innovation. The Cortez Fly Motion took "classic design" to another level with the addition of flex grooves to the legendary waffle-pattern outsole for maximum traction and flexibility, a one-piece composite upper built for the ultimate in lightweight support and an injected Phylon® midsole for underfoot cushioning
The Los Angeles Lakers acquired Kobe Bryant after the Charlotte Hornets drafted him in 1996. Before his first season in the NBA Kobe Bryant signed an endorsement deal to wear adidas basketball shoes. During his rookie season, Bryant became the youngest NBA starter in league history, then became the youngest player to ever win the Slam Dunk Contest.
In his second season, Kobe Bryant began to show the signs of greatness that we know today. Bryant averaged over 15 points per game and was selected to appear in his first ever NBA All-Star Game. Comparisons to legendary players like Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson began to be seen as Kobe Bryant raised his scoring average to nearly 20 points per game in 1998-1999.
Kobe Bryant shoes at the time were becoming increasingly popular as well with designs like the adidas Kobe, adidas Kobe II and KB8 becoming sought after amongst sneaker collectors.
In 2000, Kobe Bryant would get his first NBA World Champion ring. Then in 2001 and in 2002, Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers added two more NBA Titles to become back-to-back-to-back World Champions. It was after the 3rd consecutive NBA Championship that the Lakers dismantled and things changed. Kobe Bryant had signed a new sneaker deal with Nike and began to carve his name further into the NBA record books. During the 2002-2003 season Kobe Bryant scored 40 or more points for 9 games in a row and finished the month of February averaging 40.6 points per game.
In 2006, Kobe Bryant scored a career-high 81 points against the Toronto Raptors wearing his first signature shoe from Nike, the Nike Zoom Kobe. That season Kobe won his first NBA Scoring Title by averaging 35.4 points per game for the 2005-2006 season. For the 2006-2007 NBA season, Kobe Bryant changed his jersey number from 8 to the number 24 and Kobe added his second consecutive NBA Scoring Title. Kobe Bryant won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award in 2008 while wearing the Nike Zoom Kobe III.
In 2008, with Nike Basketball unveiling lightweight technologies like Flywire and Lunar Foam cushioning, the direction of Kobe shoes changed the course of basketball shoes. The Nike Zoom Kobe IV was the first mid-cut shoe in the Kobe signature line and helped Kobe Bryant win his fourth World Championship, special colorways of the Kobe shoes became increasingly popular.
With the 2009-2010 season, Nike again developed a new Kobe shoe, the Zoom Kobe V, which was a true low-top basketball shoe. Again, special colorways and Kobe\'s on-court achievements helped make the Zoom Kobe V and Zoom Kobe VI sought after designs.Nike has continued to develop groundbreaking technologies with the Kobe Bryant signature line and the Zoom Kobe VII continued that with the revolutionary Kobe System that couples selectable elements to offer a completely customizable fit and performance.
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