Nike’s latest revelation applies a classic formula, with a modern technology twist, with the React Element 87. In 2017, after surveying runners about what they wanted and needed out of a shoe, there was an overwhelming demand for greater cushioning and energy return, with strong preferences for light weight and durability also expressed. React foam was developed in response to these results.
The React Element 87 takes the user input concept one step further, in the form of quantified data. As a lifestyle silhouette, the React Element 87 is specifically and uniquely suited to the demands placed on the wearer by daily life, as opposed to running performance shoes, which will be worn for comparatively shorter bursts of activity. Test wearer pressure maps determined the areas of the foot most stressed by a regimen of everyday activity, commuting, errands, general walking around, etc. After drilling into these areas on standard cushioning, the process was repeated with React foam.
In addition to the shoe’s performance qualities, the unique design process includes the visual translation of the pressure map results as an algorithmic pattern, resulting in the sole’s distinctive, debossed wavy look. The shoe’s lightweight textile upper and asymmetrical tongue continue the theme, while a silhouette inspired by a 1980s running classic, the Internationalist, tempers the ultra modern sensibility with an old-school influence, for an overall style that offers a contemporary cutting edge and timelessly casual style.
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