NikeLab just unveiled it’s latest creation, the NikeLab Free Rift Sneaker/Sandal hybrid, an update to the original Air Rift that were released back in ’96. They also graciously provided some of the initial sketches and story behind the design/development of the new, aesthetically striking Free Rift.
“Originally developed as protective training footwear for volleyball athletes, the NikeLab Free Rift Sandal features hexagonal flex grooves to achieve a natural and barefoot feel. To increase the shoe’s longevity, durable rubber pods were added to the outsole in high friction areas.” – Nike.com
A mixture of both the previous Rift sneaker and Nike Free technology, the Free Rift moves away from it’s previous textile upper, and now sports a one-peice TPU upper that sits atop of a Phylon midsole and deeply flex grooved Free outsole.
“The one-piece TPU upper was originally meant to cooperate with an interchangeable midsole but ultimately the two components were fused together. As a final nod to the original Nike Air Rift, a topographic motif was added to the NikeLab Free Rift Sandal’s upper.” – Nike.com
It’s always great to get a glimpse at the development of a project like this. It’s also great to see Nike continually pushing the envelope, and it’s consumers, with the release of products like this.
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