Nike's new running shoe could prevent the chance of injury by 52 per cent, helping solve the problem that most often takes runners out of the game.
The React Infinity Run was created by Nike Running as part of a seemingly impossible "moonshot" project to ensure that no runner gets injured.
"One of the biggest problems to solve, one of the biggest things that takes running away from runners is injury, and so we want to be able to try and help solve that," vice president of Nike Running Footwear Brett Holts told Dezeen.
"It's become a pretty complex problem to solve as we're digging into it."
Running injuries are commonly linked to style, with many blamed on over pronation – meaning that the foot tilts inward on landing. However, the exact cause of injuries are typically difficult to trace, so the team had to come up with a broad solution.
Working with Nike's Sport Research Lab, Holts' team developed a more supportive shoe from the React family. First launched in 2018, React shoes are made from an engineered foam known for being lightweight and springing quickly back into shape, making it an effective running shoe.
"Performance-wise it really is our most complete foam in terms of cushioning properties, but also at the same time very responsive," said Holts.
"It's hard to build both cushioning and responsiveness into the same foam, so it does a great job at that," he added. "It minimises any compromise."
To bolster this, the React Infinity Run has 24 per cent more foam under the foot and is much wider.
Nike worked with the British Columbia Sports Medicine Research Foundation to test the product on 226 runners, who were tasked to train for 12 weeks using either the Nike React Infinity Run or the Nike Structure 22 running shoe.
They recorded any injuries, equated to any time they missed three or more consecutive runs due to running-related pain. The results found that those wearing Nike React Infinity Run had a 52 per cent lower injury rate.
Olympic runner Bernard Lagat testified to its benefits at the unveiling of the product at Nike's New York headquarters yesterday.
"This shoe is exactly what these designers actually talked about, that it is comfortable," Lagat told Dezeen. "You can actually feel the form when you're running on dirt because you feel like it is absorbing all that shock that you sometimes get when you land."
Nike React Infinity Run will go on sale in January 2020, and marks the latest innovation from the brand's sports team.
For years, the brand has been working with Kenyan runner Eluid Kipchoge to develop running shoes that help break the two-hour marathon barrier. Kipchoge broke the record last month while wearing a version of the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT%.