Reminiscent of the original waffle runner that launched Nike, the Free Hyperfeel is the company's latest minimalist runner inspired by the actual geometry of the body. Which, if you'll recall, is something Under Armour addressed with its bra-like Speedform.
In creating the Free Hyperfeel, Nike says its research lab rats used pressure-mapping tech and high-speed cameras to study the foot in motion to build a better running shoe. This research led to a simple low-profile shoe with cushioning and traction only where it's needed that gives the runner more response and control. The waffle outsole was "reengineered with strategically placed pistons, reflecting key pressure points."
The materials used were also meant to replicate certain parts of the foot. For instance, the articulated drop-in Lunarlon insole was used to mimic the cushion-y bits under the foot, while providing even more range of motion. The super thin waffle outsole on the other hand is meant to replicate the "hardened skin" on the soles of your feet. It's also basically non-existent in that you can roll the shoe up like a fruit roll-up with the insole removed. That's how thin it is.
All of that is pulled together using Nike's Flyknit upper for structure and fit, which brings the number of components down to seven from 57. The Free Hyperfeel will be available on September 5 for $175 for both men and women. [Nike]