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Nike is a greatest sportswear brand of all time, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t released sneaker tech that is always successful. The one constant has been Nike Air. however Nike has tried many different things to stay ahead of the curve, or to play catch up. Here are 5 examples of sneaker technology that just didn’t work.

0:15 The GLD Shop – Sponsor of the Video!

1:50 Nike “Pump” Technology
Reebok had the Pump in 1989 which featured a revolutionary tightening system for your sneakers that pumped up air into the shoe to provide a better fit. Everyone remembers the Reebok pump basketball on the tongue, and those successfull sneakers are still being retroed by reebok today.

In 1989 however, Nike wanted a slice of the pie and created their own version of the pump technology with the Nike Air Pressure. This featured a pump that attached to the sneakers to allow them to be pumped up for a better fit. That was not very impressive with what Reebok offered, and who wanted to carry a pump with them?

Nike released 2 other pump models before dropping the concept completely: The Nike Air Command Force and Nike Air Force 180 High in 1991 made popular thanks to the Admiral, David Robinson. 2/3 of the Nike Pump sneakers have retroed, but the 180 is still not released from the vault.

3:24 Nike Shox
Released in 2000, the Nike Shox finally became a reality after many years of waiting. Bruce Kilgore designed the Shox but originally was a concept from 1984.

Inspiration for the shoe came from viewing indoor track sprinters appear to “bounce” after impacting the surface of the track. This was made possible by using polyurethane for the column stacks.

Shox debuted in 3 versions, R4 for running, BB4 for Basketball, and XT for training, which I remember being recalled for the upper.

Nike Shox had a decent run, especially with Vince Carter having a signature basketball line but the gimmick of the Nike Shox really just fade away over time. Nike still makes some models with Shox and more recently Supreme released a Nike Shox collab, however the tech is a dying breed with the super foam carbon plate market really providing functionality.

5:21 Nike + Sports Pack
In 2012, Nike wanted to enter the digital sneaker space with a new app that tracked metrics for training and basketball. How high you jump, and other things that I have forgotten about. Nike Hyperdunk+, the Lunar Hyper Workout+ and Lunar TR1+ all released with high hopes and and even higher price point for consumers at over $235

The problem? I don’t think the app and tech was as good as the concept. The performance technology didn’t perform well enough, or if did, it was not used by consumers as this really was a niche product only for those who can pay to play. Nike had better success with Nike + in running sneakers that had a removable dongle that you could place in other compatible sneakers, but that eventually ran its last course as well, pun intended.

6:50 Nike Adapt Technology
Where to start with this one. I wanted to love this, I do love this! I really wanted to love this. Nike Adapt technology released in 2017 and is so cool how they took the concept from the Nike MAG in Back to the Future 2 and made it into a reality! A modern day self lacing sneaker, where could this go wrong, right? Well, the price was $720 for the first version of the Nike HyperAdapt 1.0. These had a snug fit even without lacing them, and they were, well uncomfortable. They have released at least 3 other versions

10:00 Nike Joyride
Nike released in 2019 and Nike said WHY BEADS? They’re soft, they’re bouncy, and they form the core of an innovative new cushioning system designed to help make all the ways you move feel easy, even running.

Well the concept was fun, and this looked really cool! But after trying these on I realized the shelf life of the Joyride would be short lived, and it appears I was right. These had 2 major flaws for the consumer.

1- The small TPU like beads were plentiful and springy, however if you wore your pair to the bone, the joy will spill out and become an eco hazard.

2- The top of the footbed was not waterproof, so if you went in water 1 time even on accident, the water is now trapped in the midsole and will not come out easily, now you have a potential biohazard.

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