Last Updated on November 28, 2008 by Jimson Lee
Asafa Powell Unveils Zoom Aerofly, the First Power Sprint Spike to Feature Nike Flywire Technology
From NIKE Press release:
Imagine a paper-thin shoe whose only support comes from threads. This is Flywire. A revolutionary technology, its high-strength threads work like cables on a suspension bridge with support engineered precisely where a foot needs it. Flywire allowed Nike to make its lightest and strongest footwear ever, transforming how footwear is engineered by reducing the amount of material required for the upper of a shoe to the bare minimum. Thanks to this innovation, track spikes with Flywire are now under 100g, a weight never before achieved without compromising on durability or integrity and support.
When Asafa Powell saw his long distance track and field brethren wearing the new sub- 100g Zoom Victory Track Spike, he asked Nike designers if they could make a version for power sprinters.
The fit of the shoe was created by taking a 3-D scan of Powell’s foot in the Nike Sport Research Lab. From there, the Vectran fiber placement was adjusted because Powell is on his toes for the duration of his sub 10 second race. In all, the Zoom Aerofly’s Flywire construction features 65 supportive cables per foot.
The collar is constructed with a new lobe technology that is lightweight and comfortable. The soft lobes fill the space between the calcaneous and the maleolus bones making sure that the foot is locked down to the plate.
What were Powell’s impressions of the Zoom Aerofly when he first put them on? “It felt fast. It’s very tight, but still comfortable. It wraps around my foot, yet its movement is not stiff and you don’t have to cramp your toes.”
Finishing touches include an aerodynamic upper that was wind tunnel testing to reduce as mush drag as possible, since Powell’s legs can move up to 100km per hour.
The final weight of the Zoom Aerofly is an astonishing 186 grams, roughly 25% lighter than the average power sprint spike.
If Asafa wore the pair he is holding in his hands, then it appears he wears a size 11 1/2 track shoe. New technologies and ideas into shoe construction for atheletes is enjoying a nice renaissance. I hope they keep it coming though those days of a good under-$100 shoe will soon be over. I’m waiting for that day when the manufacturers can tell us that, “… by wearing our shoes, you will actually weigh less than if you didn’t wear them!” 186 grams… incredible.
Commenting on one of your previous posts: It’s hard to believe that Jamaica has had so few Olympic gold medals than one might have expected them to have considering the wealth of great performers that country has given us throughout the years.
Jimson Lee says
@Fred – I remember back in 1987, I purchased the Adidas “Sprint” spikes similar to the ones Ben Johnson wore before we switched to Diadora. They were $140 at the time when all the other ones were $60-70.
I can’t imagine a shoe or spike that light – will it last 4 rounds?