Nike has a new running shoe: the Nike Free Hyperfeel.
And it's essentially a sock.
The ultra-minimalist shoe is designed to deliver the most natural running motion ever possible with a pair of Nikes, in a similar way to the also-recently-announced Under Armour Speedform.
And while our PR hyperbole sensors are usually set to 'deflect' when it comes to running shoes, this is a company that does have a recent history of genuine innovation.
So when Nike says that the Hyperfeel should "feel like an extension of the body by minimising layers between the foot and the ground", you have to listen - even if talk of its new "amplified design" ethos does trigger your waffle alarm.
"A drop-in insole made from Lunarlon foam allows the foot to have direct contact with Lunarlon cushioning. The ultra-thin waffle outsole uses strategically placed waffle pistons for grip and feel, allowing the foot to get closer to the ground."
Scientists in the Nike Sport Research Lab carefully studied which areas of the foot come into contact with the ground and absorb pressure, and which areas require traction. They used pressure-mapping technology and high-speed film to analyze the foot in motion.
The result is Nike Free Hyperfeel, a shoe that mimics the intricate workings of the human foot: Lunarlon foam replicates cushioned pads under the foot. The outsole protects like hardened skin on the sole. Dynamic Flywire flexes and contracts, inspired by ligaments.
And no, you don't have to wear socks with them. Because the shoe pretty much is the sock.
Take a look at more pictures of the shoe below, and head over to Nike for more details on this and the Nike Free Flyknit, also announced this week.
The shoes will be available for £120 for men and women in September.
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