Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Nike Air Rift. The Real Barefoot Shoes

This morning, Morpheus gave me the choice - to remain in my everyday life or to learn what the Matrix is?  I took the "red pill".  Woke up disoriented and alarmed to find myself weak, hairless (cant imagine), naked in a pod full of red liquid, and connected to many wires.  Not only I learned what the Matrix is, I discovered that Nike Free isn't the shoes made for barefoot runners but its the Nike Air Rift
Dug this up from Eastbay --
One of the earliest running shoes designed for the barefoot runner, the Nike Air Rift was originally released in 1995. Nike designed the Air Rift for the Kenya national running team who ran barefoot. Named after the Great Rift Valley that Kenyan runners would run barefoot through, the Air Rift was designed to emulate the natural movement of the foot, while providing just enough cushioning with the ergonomic sole. The laceless neoprene upper is sock-like in nature and helps make the Nike Air Rift feel like its just a part of your foot.

Last year, Nike released original colors of the Air Rift, including the Kenyan inspired colorway of black with green and red accents. For the summer, they’ve brought a couple of new colorways for the dedicated fan base of this unique sneaker design. A black and Tour Yellow combination is available now, while the Varsity Royal colorway will be available soon.

The split-toe design is the same approach used by Zem Gear for better proprioception.  But other than that it is a totally different animal.  We can easily see how flexible these shoes are because of the soft upper and the strategically placed grooves on its soles which promotes a more natural running gait

But I think the sole is too thick.  It feels clunky.  If you are a barefoot runner, you don't need cushioning.  You only need to protect your sole from the harsh elements on the road.  I guess this is where Nike failed to understand what barefoot running is all about

In my opinion, this is a lot better even compared to Nike 3.0 and Run+ 2 discounting its aesthetic side.  How I wish the design department assigned to Nike Free was tapped when Nike Air Rift was being conceptualized


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