Nike unveils new track spikes, color palette for Rio Olympics

Nike unveils new track spikes, color palette for Rio Olympics

Development of the new spike, the Zoom Superfly Elite, started more than four years ago when Nike engineers and designers analyzed two-time Olympic gold medal 100-meter sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce at her home in Jamaica.

“The key to sprinting at the foot level was to make the foot become really rigid,” Brett Schoolmeester, Nike’s senior product director for fast footwear, says. “Even an athlete as small as Fraser-Pryce [she is 5' 1"] was still flexing in what we thought to be a very rigid spike plate.”

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But with more stiffness often comes more weight, so Schoolmeester and his team came up with a solution from nature, specifically the cellular honeycomb geometry. The honeycomb design creates a reductive nature in the cells that reduces weight in some areas, but offers an incredibly strong connective nature, building a plate four times stiffer and 50 percent lighter. This new spike will be worn by Fraser-Pryce, Allyson Felix, Dafne Schippers and a host of male athletes in the Rio Olympics.

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