Nike is always challenging themselves to improve on their products so that at the end of the day the deliver top level performance to every athlete regardless of whether they are playing professionally at the highest level or one a week at the amateur level.
Nike revealed the 2nd generation of the Hypervenom cleats yesterday and the initial reaction indicates fans and players have been waiting to see the next look and ready to try them out.
“Much like the players we design for, we’re constantly pushing the parameters of what’s possible. We are relentless innovators,” Nathan VanHook, Senior Design Director for Nike Football Footwear, said of the process
The design team of VanHook, Phil Woodman, and Max Blau took a very simple approach when tasked with evaluating ways to improve the original Hypervenom. The team members pulled on white socks and put their feet in soccer positions (eg shooting, pivoting, passing, etc) and with each motion spray painted the sock. When the foot was unflexed the natural white of the sock shined through showing the ‘flex grooves’ for that action.
The trial only created more questions but the team realized they were on to a great way to better provide a cleat that could allow the foot and cleat to move for optimal agility.
The next step was to take their ideas (and a pile of socks) to Nike’s Sport Research Lab. The engineers went to work.
The Hypervenom II’s upper features the most noticeable changes. It is the first Nike cleat to utilize the Flyknit collar with enhanced mesh upper with NikeSkin and All Conditions Control (ACC) technologies. The Nike Flywire is strategically placed with adding sipping (narrow slits) to help with control and traction on the upper. The collar is a responsive mesh of varying densities. A big contrast from the original Hypervenom with a uniform dimpled upper.
The medial side (instep) of the cleat has a larger pure strike zone with the laces off set to the lateral side. The laces are contained in the upper so that the lacing is not noticed on the player’s foot.
“The Dynamic Fit Collar hadn’t been introduced yet when the first Hypervenom came out. We experimented with a variety of collar iterations, ultimately designing a new Dynamic Fit Collar with seam placement off the tendon for enhanced comfort and no distractions,” Woodman explained when asked about the Dynamic Fit Collar.
The paint job was all a part of the process. Players that wear the Hypervenom are quick and agile. They use these attributes to create space and time on the ball to be lethal players and the impression of zig-zagging motion on the base of the upper and the outsole visually reinforce this style.
The soleplate was updated to be made from a softer material than the original providing additional comfort and flexibility. The split-toe design remains for quick responses and change of motion.
The end result is a 2nd generation of the Hypervenom that The Hypervenom II is improves on the combination of Fit, Touch, Traction and Style to make a lethal cleat.
We draw great inspiration from nature. With Hypervenom II, we focused on a variety of animals that carry special coloring on their underside, often indicative of poisonous capabilities. They may look innocent at first glance, but have these colorful prints one might not see until it is too late. We brought this ‘belly of the beast’ aesthetic to Hypervenom II to leave a strong impression on those left in the player’s wake as he maneuvers past them” Woodman commented.
The Nike Hypervenom II will be available at World Soccer Shop.
And with a line-up that includes these players, how can you go wrong.