Decoding Design

Nike introduces the GS Boot: light, fast, and environmentally friendly

Nike introduces the GS Boot: light, fast, and environmentally friendly

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This week, Nike unveiled the GS Football Boot, saying the boot is the lightest and fastest, and most environmentally friendly production boot made by Nike, using recycled plastic and castor beans as materials.

This week, Nike unveiled the GS Football Boot in London, saying the boot is not only the lightest and fastest, but also the most environmentally friendly production boot ever made by Nike. As timing is everything, the boots were made to be worn in this summer's competitions.

The designers were challenged to come up with a cleat that was so stripped down that it included only the bare essentials, to give the lightest feeling but also the highest amount of speed control for the athletes. The boot, at a size 9, weighs only 160 grams, or .35 pounds.

The idea for the GS was born and engineered in Italy, and was constructed using a bio-based traction plate that is made primarily from castor beans that ensures strength as well as flexibility. The sock liner, too, is made from one hundred percent castor beans, and the laces, lining and tongue are made up of 70 percent recycled material.

The material used in the sole plate is made of 50 percent renewable Pebax Renu (a plant derived material made with 97% castor beans) and 50% TPU, made from renewable materials. The plate is 15 percent lighter than a traditional plate composition.

The design of the traction plate is simple, and the diamond shape provides optimal flex and agility in plate performance, say the designers. The studs are positioned "anatomically," to maximize speed in multiple directions to ensure responsive and assured movement on pitch.

The upper is made from a solvent-free Kanga-Lite synthetic material to provide zonal reinforcement for a player's touch and control, and provides more support in the arch area. Both the toeboard and collar feature at least 15 percent recycled materials, and the asymmetrical heel buckets hold the feet down for more support.

With all of this fun technology put into the boots, I also really like the way they look-- a simple yet vibrant design that reflects the ideas behind it. For those of us not competing in a few weeks and want to up our cleat game, the boots will be out on August 15, 2012 for $300. The price may be steep, but it's not much more than other elite boots of this nature.

[Dezeen, The Original Winger, Nike Inc.]
Images, Video: Nike, Inc

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Beth Carter

Contributing Editor

Beth Carter is a freelance journalist based in San Francisco. She has worked for Catalyst magazine, the New York Times Syndicate, BBC Travel and Wired. She holds degrees from the University of Oregon and New York University. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure