Inspired by the biodynamics of Cheetahs, researchers did a slip analysis to come up with the tri-blade configuration. The positioning enables players to make quick direction changes, as well to improve their ability to speed up and to stop, while the hollow core design contributes to the boot's overall lightness.
Designers based the purple and orange colors on science claiming the two colors are most visible in the periphery. The idea is that the bold colorway against the green of the grass will catch players' eyes so they know where their teammates are on the pitch. An asymmetrical design lends a flickering effect as players run.
Nine of the world's top players, each representing one the Nike-sponsored national teams of Brazil, The Netherlands, Portugal, U.S.A., South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Serbia, and Slovenia, along with British midfielder Jermain Jenas representing Umbro, were there to help launch the new kits.
After melting down discarded plastic bottles from Japan and Taiwan, Nike's fabric suppliers produced new yarn to make the fabric for the jerseys. It takes about eight bottles per shirt, cutting down on energy consumption by 30 percent. (Clever shirt-in-a-bottle press kit image via <a href="" onclick="javascript:urchinTracker('/linkout/');" target="_blank">Standard Procedure...</a>)
Working with coaches to develop a curriculum built around Nike's SPARQ (Speed, Power, Agility, Reaction and Quickness) brand, each app focuses on one discipline (so far <a href="" onclick="javascript:urchinTracker('/linkout/');" target="_blank">Accuracy</a> and <a href="" onclick="javascript:urchinTracker('/linkout/');" target="_blank">Control</a>, with Speed on the way) and pairs with a country for unparalleled access to their trade secrets.
Always at the forefront of the most high-tech materials, Nike's composite upper incorporates Teijin (a synthetic leather) and minimizes layers for better performance and provides a slick surface that's perfect for graphic applications.
The sole's carbon fiber construction cuts down on the overall weight while staying flexible and is a first in a consumer model.
Called Nike Sense, the "smart stud" automatically extends up to three millimeters by reacting to both the pressure the player exerts and the conditions of the field. As a result, players no longer have to switch studs in and out.
This latest iteration of their two-year-old Flywire technology—a suspension-bridge-inspired way to provide lightweight support—refines the system for a more comfy fit.
The Dri-Fit fabric used in the kits' jerseys and shorts also has the benefit of hundreds of strategically-positioned laser-cut holes reinforced with Nike's "Halo" application for maximum ventilation.
Packed into the sleek form of Nike's most futuristic-looking boot to date, highly-technical improvements include a lighter internal structure, studs that adjust to field conditions, and carbon-fiber soles.
Features like videos with drill cards, printable pdfs, and the capability to share scores on Twitter and Facebook, make for a positive way to engage fans.
A year in the making, Nike's in-house digital team and Sports Research Lab teamed up with outside developers to make NikeSoccer+, a series of free iPhone apps designed to help young aspiring players train by connecting them with the same programs that the pro athletes use.
All Articles
All Articles

Nike Innovation Summit: The World Cup 2010

Nike Soccer launches an eco-friendly jersey, a new training app, and a high-tech cleat

by Ami Kealoha
on 01 March 2010

As the 2010 World Cup nears, Nike gathered hundreds of journalists in London (CH included) last week to learn about their new soccer products and technology, helping to fan the flames leading up to one of the world's most popular sporting events taking place this summer in South Africa. Held in the Battersea Power Station, a crumbling Art Deco building widely featured in album covers, film and TV, the site (not to mention Nike's bunker-like build-out and other theatrics) made for a dramatic setting to launch the paraphernalia.

London's photogenic ruins couldn't compete with the star power of the sport's best athletes however. An appearance by Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo, followed by nine players each representing their national team (along with one repping Nike's newly-acquired company Umbro), brought the event to a fever pitch as media from all over the world clamored to get a word with the talented footballers.

Not to be overshadowed by the event itself, Nike emphasized their innovation-led approach to design with the Superfly II, a new self-adjusting-cleat version of their Mercurial Vapor, an app dubbed Nike Soccer+ that lets you train like the pros, and the world's first Considered jersey made from recycled bottles. For more detailed images and info, check out the slide show below.

Image of Nike CEO Mark Parker at the Summit via Freshness

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