Stop recycling old designs, Nike

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Cole Jaquith

BY COLE JAQUITH ’16

It has recently come to my attention that Nike has developed a habit of re-purposing men’s athletic footwear for women’s sports. The two examples that I have found are the 2012 Nike Speedlax 3 lacrosse cleat and the 2013 Nike Zoom Volley Hyperstrike volleyball shoe.

It seems to me like Nike is overlooking the importance of women’s athletics to their brand. They would  be wises to focus some of their attention on sport specific footwear for women. Nike could gain a huge hold in a market that is truly lacking right now, especially in women’s lacrosse, where the most widely worn cleats are soccer cleats.

Both the Speedlax and the Hyperstrike are marketed specifically towards women’s sports, that neither were originally designed for. The Speedlax was originally released in 2008 as the Nike Speed TD, a cleat designed and marketed towards football players, while the Hyperstrike was first released in 2011 as the Nike Zoom Hyperduk Low.

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The Speedlax and the Hyperstrike were each released two or more years after their male counterparts, and the only thing that changed were the color schemes and the descriptions under the products. It may just be me, but if I were a woman, I would feel slighted by Nike. Their design focus is very gender biased, and is something that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Is it really that hard to come up with a new design that is made solely for one sport?

In the past Nike has also re-released the Vapor Carbon football cleat two years after the original, but the new Vapor Carbon was still marketed towards football players the second time around.

There really aren’t many cleats specifically made for women’s lacrosse, which may be why players often wear soccer cleats, but if Nike is going to market towards women’s lacrosse players they could at least put in the effort to change up the design. The same goes for the Hyperstrike. Although volleyball and basketball are both played on the same hardwood surface, they involve very different types of movement at times.

All in all, it seems like Nike is lacking innovation in the women’s sports department. Step up your game, Nike.