After learning that Stanford athletes had been training barefoot on the university's golf course, three of Nike's most innovative and creative employees set out to develop a shoe that felt natural and weightless, similar to bare feet. In 2002, they examined a group of men and women with pressure measuring insoles taped to their feet, using high-speed cameras to capture images of each foot in motion.
The team spent eight years studying the biomechanics of shoeless running. The results yielded a understanding of the foot's natural landing angle, pressure and toe position, allowing Nike designers to build an unconventional and flexible running shoe from the inside out.
In 2012, with the introduction of the Nike TW'13 shoe, they brought that technology to the golf course. A second generation TW'14 shoe was released earlier this year, and now the Nike FI Impact offers a more colourful, more affordable version of the Free-Inspired golf shoe.
The men's Nike FI Impact will come in 5 different colours (shown above): Black/Silver, Grey/Black, Grey/Black/Orange (all available late August), Blue/White, and Black/Green (available early 2014).
Just as Tiger Woods’ insights helped pave the way for the first Free-Inspired golf shoe, Suzann Pettersen teamed up with Nike to develop the first Free-Inspired footwear for women, the ladies Nike FI Impact. Pettersen visited Nike's headquarters to test the Free-Inspired technology at the Nike Sport’s Research Lab (NSRL) in August of 2012.
Traditionally a fan of spiked shoes, Pettersen quickly realised she could harness as much power without the removable spikes. Nike designers set to work to create a Nike Free-Inspired shoe to meet her athletic needs, incorporating technology from the successful Nike TW’13 footwear.
The ladies Nike FI Impact will come in two different colours: White/Pink and Black/Blue/White.
"After I tried them once, I was dying to get them on my feet in competition," expressed Pettersen. "I can really feel the ground and the increase in power through my swing."
In her first tournament round in the new FI Impacts shoes, Pettersen carded rounds of 65, 69, 68 and 67, shooting 19-under par to win the tournament.
The mens and women's Nike FI Impact shoes will be in shops in late August, with additional colours hitting the market in January 2014, with an RRP of £95.
More info, photos and details on the Nike FI Impact shoes.
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