Nike has done three years of research and development to deliver better kids-specific performance shoes. It has resulted in the Nike Future Flight, a hoops shoe designed for young athletes.
Generally, kids shoes are mini versions of the sneakers we all know and love. However, they usually have lackluster materials, and their designs can be…iffy. Now, Nike has unveiled its Future Series for young athletes, which will also bring the Future Speed, a running sneaker designed for kids.
To build sneakers specifically for kids, designers and researchers at Nike had to analyze what kids needed to perform. According to the company, kids are lower to the ground and thus, a kid’s angle and movement is more extreme than that of an adult. Additionally, Nike says that kids don’t have the foot strength to be mid- or forefoot strikers so they are predominantly heel strikers. Kids also told researchers that they wanted to feel lightweight in a shoe.
Designing for kids meant broadening the foot form in the forefoot to give kids room to grow, as well as using less glue and sticking to lightweight meshes, according to Nike. Designers were also inspired by a puppy paw, which has a softer surface to provide cushioning that is surrounded by firmer skin for better traction and stability.
From the redesigns came the Nike Future Flight, a shoe designed to bring young athletes closer to the ground. The shoe utilizes a dual-density midsole comprised of a solar-soft foam core (tuned for a kid’s size and weight) and a firmer injected Phylon carrier that runs around the outsole (for stability during lateral cuts). Finally, a deconstructed collar should allow the ankle to move through its full range of motion.
The Nike Future Flight and Future Speed will debut on July 1 at nike.com. The brand has not announced pricing information, but it has pledged to continue to develop kids-specific footwear.