UPDATED!! The Nike Zoom Aerofly - Asafa Powell's sprint spike for the Beijing Olympics

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The Nike Zoom Aerofly - Asafa Powell's sprint spike for the Beijing Olympics

The Nike Zoom Aerofly is the striking sprint spike that Asafa Powell will wear to line up in Beijing.
With the 100m looking an open three-way battle between Asafa Powell, Usain Bolt and Tyson Gay all three will be looking for every advantage they can find.
All three will be wearing special make-up spikes on their feet with Nike unveiling the Aerofly for Powell.
Jay Meschter Innovation Manager of the Nike innovation Kitchen explained: “The shoe that we have made is 92g and it has all the support and strength of a standard track shoe.
“When he puts this thing on it’s looks like his foot has just been dipped in a yellow gold. It’s quite a nice effect, all the knuckles of his foot X-ray through the shoe. It feels like his foot has just been dipped in vinyl. Speed guys like to have some pop and fizzle so we put some pop and sizzle in this one.”
Technically speaking the spike plate is the same Superfly plate that many sprinters are familiar with. But it is the upper where the action happens. John Truax is the Product Line manager for track & field. He said: “The forces coming out the blocks are so great you need to have a stronger mesh so we typically use a synthetic leather in a sprint shoe because that’s going to hold your foot down versus a mesh that stretches. So what we did was sandwich the Flywire between the real thin film synthetic material; it’s a stretchy material so basically when you put it on it just acts like a sock and sucks it around his foot.”
Chinese favourite Liu Xiang is another who will be wearing a pair of Aerofly in Beijing with his shoe being the personalised Aerofly LX which also utilises Flywire technology but includes a forefoot strap for an extra secure fit at the forefoot.
Sean Mc Dowell of Nike explained Flywire to Shoeguide.co.uk: "Flywire is a whole new way for us to build shoes.
"A normal shoe takes pieces of leather and mesh and stitches them on to the shoe. We’re comparing that to building stone bridges and this is more like a suspension bridge. These cables here are made of Vectram thread. You could pull it and it would cut your finger before it snapped. It is very strong cable but in a light minimal way."
By having these strong 'cables' locking the forefoot and heel in place it is possible to give a very secure fit.
"Athletes describe it as being like a second skin. The upper is very, very thin. The upper is just to keep the debris off the foot, but we’re really working on these cables [in terms of fit]. We’re able to lock down the fit in the forefoot. We’re able to remove the heel counter because we’re getting tension in the heel cables locking the heel down.
There is another benefit from Flywire. Sean told shoeguide.co.uk: "In an average shoe which has got standard materials we’re estimating your foot moves one to two millimetres within the shoe. So when your foot hits the track it flies back a millimetre or two, with this shoe we are finding that the foot is not moving that 1-2mm. So if just add that up alone if you have a 1m stride and are racing for 1000m you gain 1m at the finish. Who would not take 3ft at the end of each 1000m? We have done even more cable groupings in the sprint shoe and we have done an aerodynamic shield with the laces tucked behind that. It is extremely lightweight, it’s our lightest ever power spike."

Powell himself said of the shoe which has 65 Vectran cables making up the Flywire fit system: “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.”


The Nike Zoom Aerofly

The Nike Zoom Aerofly

Pictured - The Nike Zoom Aerofly
Nike Zoom Aerofly LX for Liu Xiang

Nike Zoom Aerofly LX for Liu Xiang

Liu Xiang will also be wearing a version of the Aerofly. Xiang's shoe for the 110m hurdles features a different synthetic leather upper as well as a forefoot strap to keep his forefoot locked in place.


To find out more about Nike's footwear that will be used in Beijing (including the Nike Zoom Victory, Nike Zoom Matumbo, Nike Zoom Ventulus 2, Nike Zoom Superfly R2, Nike Zoom Ja, Nike Zoom Maxcat 2, Nike Zoom Bigbrother, and more) see this article on Nike's Olympic footwear

To find out more about adidas' Olympic footwear click here. The article includes details on the shoes for Tyson Gay, Yelena Isinbayeva, Allyson Felix and Jeremy Wariner. See also our special article on Jeremy Wariner's new adidas Lone Star spike

For more information on how to use www.shoeguide.co.uk to find the best running shoes click here or here.
Asafa Powell at official launch of the Aerofly

Asafa Powell at official launch of the Aerofly

Asafa Powell has officially launched his new Aerofly shoe in beijing showing a new styling to the upper which combines cheetah style spots with the Jamaican colours and his signature.
The Nike Zoom Aerofly in Jamaican colours

The Nike Zoom Aerofly in Jamaican colours

Asafa Powell has a version of the Nike Zoom Aerofly in Jamaican colours with his own signature at the heel.
The Nike Zoom Aerofly in Jamaican colours 2

The Nike Zoom Aerofly in Jamaican colours 2

Another image of the Nike Zoom Aeofly in Asafa Powell's personalised colourway.

To find out more about adidas' Olympic footwear click here. The article includes details on the shoes for Tyson Gay, Yelena Isinbayeva, Allyson Felix and Jeremy Wariner.

See also our special article on
Jeremy Wariner's new adidas Lone Star spike

To see more information on Asafa Powell's Olympic spike, the Nike Zoom Aerofly, click here.

To find out about Usain Bolt's world record breaking Puma sprint spike from the Beijing 100m final, the Puma Theseus, click here.

For more information on how to use www.shoeguide.co.uk to find the best running shoes click here or here.
Written by: Andy Barber on: July 20, 2008

 

 


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