Fresh from the world-wide unveiling of Nike's revolutionary Green Speed football boots, SoccerBible caught up with David Eyers – Nike Football Senior Product Manager – to discuss the story behind the brand's lightest ever concept boot.
At 160 grams of recycled and renewable engineering, the Nike GS football boots are built for high-speed control, designed around the natural movement of the foot for a super natural fit. A revolution in the boot world, Nike have once again redefined the boundaries of boot design and construction.
"We have delivered a very pure and stripped back design for the Nike GS. It is designed to be very raw and functional but has ended up being very beautiful at the same time. The finished model is the same as the early prototypes which you saw being tested. We haven't needed to move it any further forward from where it was."
"It was scary because we had to design the GS in just 12 months, whereas we'd usually take two to three years for a boot. We had a small team of people working on it who were really focused on building a unique concept boot and it was great because we had no restrictions."
"We had a developer, a designer and a team in Italy just looking at new types of materials and how we could join them together in way that we've never done before. It was a case of thinking, what would be our ultimate boot and what would it look like, and this is where we ended up."
"We've created engineered zones with different materials and really thought about every single part of the boot. What we thought a lot about was what we needed to put in and what we could leave out. How could we minimize excess materials to create a super-lightweight and sustainable football boot."
"It's delivered to be incredibly agile and quick. The sole-plate is different, we started to carve it away. We've tried to make it work more with the natural movement of the foot. We introduced a braking stud in the heel which we've never done before. To be fast on the field it is essential that you're able to stop quick as well as be quick off the mark."
"Each individual stud has been carefully thought out. On the lateral side where you put a lot of pressure, the studs are half circular so that provides rotation. The materials we use are a pebax polymer that's made from castor beans. So not only is it renewable but it's incredibly responsive and a lightweight material."
"The vamp is kanga-lite, but an environmentally preferred kanga-lite. It doesn't use any solvents to produce and uses 70% less water in production than the natural leather tanning process. It has all the great properties of kanga-lite that is found on the CTR but through a more environmentally friendly process."
"It's been a case of taking what we already know and looking at new areas of how to build products in different zones. We've used our knowledge of creating sustainable products and have put it all into a special concept boot."
"A lot of the elements have been brought in from other products. For example, we had heel buckets in the Mercurial a while ago. This new Pebax Renu heel counter really locks the foot down and is molded in an anatomical, asymmetric shape. It's longer on the outside like the studs because that is where all of your weight is going. You don't need the length as long on the inside so you can save a few millimetres and save some more weight."
"Across the upper we've used a very thin TPU film. This provides very lightweight support. It reinforces the seams and provides the right amount of support for that lateral stability. The material on its own isn't strong enough to provide you with enough support so we had to consider where we put the TPU film and how thick it should be."
"Our aim with the Nike Green Speed
wasn't to create the lightest boot around. The weight is a bi-product of thinking about everything you need in a boot for the high-speed game and creating a highly sustainable and green football boot."
The Nike GS soccer cleats
is the lightest and greenest football boot Nike have ever made. A bold statement to every boot brand on the planet. Nike have stripped to the essential elements of a performance boot, as the GS delivers a deadly combination of lightweight innovation and recycled materials
The Nike GS is built for a new generation of speed players. An extremely limited release, there are 2012 pairs of the Nike GS football boots available from selected retailers. Check out our feature on the Nike GS soccer cleats here.