I’ve been to some really cool events before, but Nike topped things for me the other day. A few weeks ago I got an invitation for their upcoming event and I had to RSVP with my shoe, shirt, pants, and bra size. Nike is a brand that speaks to every type of athlete so I had no idea what was in store for me. Was I going to be playing basketball, tennis, golf? The options seemed endless. As editors, we do test things out before they go public, so who knew what I was going to be asked to do. When the day arrived and I was picked up by a town car from my office I was taken to a sleek and very inconspicuous building on the west side. What could we possibly be doing?
When I found out, I couldn’t be more excited. This was Nike’s seasonal running event promoting their newest gear, gadgets, and clothing for all running junkies (like myself!). As I entered the building, some of Nike’s most popular shoes from their past were on display, even the gold ones that Olympic track star, Michael Johnson, famously wore when he won his gold medals. The event started with a short clip of some of track and field’s biggest moments in history and the athletes who’ve taken this sport from grassroots to mainstream. Then the Nike team introduced their new line of running shoes—the Free Run+ and the Lunar Eclipse+. Besides the sleek look and funky colors favorable for women, these shoes are designed with womens needs in mind. When I was growing up it seemed like the motto for women’s shoes was just, “shrink ‘em and pink ‘em” since women’s shoes were generally pink and just smaller versions of men’s shoes. But because women have larger hips than men, they tend to pronate more than men when they run; that’s why we do need extra cushioning in our midsole and outsole areas. These new shoes by Nike do all this, plus, they’ve joined the “ultra-light” club.
Although running barefoot, or with minimal footwear, has been around for ages, everyday runners haven’t practiced this until more recently. These lightweight shoes were something that ultra-marathoners and professionals favored, and people like you and I probably thought were crazy, right? We tend to think of our feet as something that needs super-protection and utmost support. However, studies have shown that running barefoot actually allows the foot to strike the ground in a way that triggers less of an impact. That doesn’t sound so bad at all….
Just like the Zoot Ultra Tempo shoes I mentioned a while back, the Lunar Eclipse+ and Free Run+ (more so the latter) give you that barefoot-like feel to your runs—with the support of a stability shoe so you still feel like you are wearing a sneaker. So Nike’s got it all covered! Plus, shoes are really all so personal. You can wear these for training, racing, or even none at all—whatever fits your needs the best, and feels right, is what you should be running in!
After seeing the new line of running sneakers, we got a short tutorial on the Nike Plus—something you must check out if you don’t know about it already. This gadget, which is found in all Nike+ shoes (like the ones mentioned above), tracks your distance, pace, time and calories burned through the chip in your shoe (you can instantly see your results through your Nike+ wristlet, like a watch, or on your ipod if you have an ipod attachment). Before you can follow your runs though, you have to register on nikeplus.com (don’t worry it’s FREE!) and set up your profile. This way your shoe chip can keep track of your runs and you can see your progress day-to-day online. Nike Plus isn’t just a way to stay on top of your workouts—you can also set up goals and challenges and compete against other Nike Plus users. It’s sort of like a social networking running club. (We got to test this technology, and the sneakers, during a four-mile run at the end of the event.) Before the main event was over though, Michael Johnson was brought out and gave us a little pep talk. He even accompanied us during our run (minus his famous gold shoes).
Check out step-by-step pics of my new Nike gear !!
Here I am wearing the Lucar Eclipse+ shoes....in hot pink! My fave!
My locker stuffed with all new Nike goodies!
The Nike Free+ with my wristlet and shoe clip..the part that shows your time/calories burned/pace clips right into the wristlet and then you take it out and put it into your computer (where mine is right now)....
The shoe chip....
...that goes in here (under the sole of the shoe)!
After your run, plug the USB from your wristlet into your computer, log into your Nike Plus account online—and see your results! Enjoy!! :)