Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2008

43. High-Tech Running Shoes

Nike and Adidas continued their long-running battle for sneaker supremacy this year. Nike unleashed its Zoom Victory track spike (right), with a paper-thin surface that snugs runners like a second skin. Narrow threads made of Vectran, a material used to sew landing balloons on the lunar rover, run like cables from the laces to the bottom, supporting the foot at key pressure points such as the heel. The threads keep the shoe together with a minimum of extraneous material, allowing the spike to weigh in at under 100 grams, which makes it one of the lightest performance shoes on record. Meanwhile, Adidas, working in tandem with Porsche Design, engineered the Porsche Design Sport Bounce running shoe. It features metallic springs that cushion the foot, making your run as smooth as a ride in a high-end sports car.