In October, for the last several years, Nike has been producing winterized versions of two of their best selling running shoes: the Nike Air Pegasus and Nike Zoom Structure Triax. What Nike does is they take the normal road versions, add a GoreTex membrane (waterproof/breathable) with minor tweaks to the upper and poof, you get shoes ready to take on the wet and cold of winter. The only drawback in the past has been a slight change in fit, which was the result of a stiffer upper that changed the toe-box shape compared to the supple mesh used in the regular versions. For October 2010 that all changes. Thanks to a new toe-lasting process and material improvements, the Nike Air Pegasus+ 27 GTX and Nike Zoom Structure Triax+ 13 GTX are intended to provide the same fit of the mesh versions. We will have to wait and see if this holds true once the production versions arrive, but the samples looked good.
As we’ve mentioned previously, Nike is all about their Lunar Technology going forward so much so that the bulk of their new running specialty product offerings from Fall ’10 (late Summer introductions) are Lunar based. The former Bowerman line, generally considered more traditional running footwear, is whittled down to color updates on the four primary models within the Bowerman line, the Vomero+5, the Equalon+4, the Structure Triax+ 13 and the Air Pegasus+ 27. The rest of the shoes earmarked for the running specialty industry are Lunar.
Nike is one of the few running brands that still offers four footwear introductions each year; Spring, Summer, Fall and Holiday. The biggest introductions are usually saved for Spring and Fall, with Holiday and Summer having a smaller number of updates.
For Summer 2010, Nike continues to experiment and expand models that make up two of the brand’s unique categories of shoes, the Free and Lunar family of products. Nike is known to consistently introduce new technologies to see if they find an audience and if they do find a following, the technology is expanded into its own silo of products. Air Max was one of the better examples of this. First was the Air Max, then a whole slew of Air Max products that followed. The Free concept remains popular, but the line is somewhat limited in its appeal. The Lunar product has proven wildly successful and as a result, new models are being introduced in the Lunar line while the Free line receives updates to existing models and even loses a style in the process.
For the Lunar franchise, possibly the coolest is the new LunarFly+. Take a symmetrical LunarLite midsole and throw the upper from the 2008 Hayward on top and you have one hot shoe. At $80, this is gonna prove popular.