Just in time for the 2008 Olympics, Nike holds up a mirror to equestrian sports and says, "Isn't it time you joined the 21st century?"
Double-click (or whatever your browser requires) on the image at left for a larger view of the new Nike "Ippeas" riding boot. Nike is launching a new design of footwear for every sport in the 2008 Olympics.
To quote from the press release:
After listening to insights and ideas from top equestrian athletes, several rounds of prototypes were produced and improved with each effort. The final creation was the Nike Ippeas, a beautiful leather and synthetic boot that provides protection, support, traction, traditional aesthetic and horse control in a total package that also reduces weight by eliminating the need for strap-on spurs.
Nike developed many innovations for the Nike Ippeas, including rubber pads for the outsoles of the boots to improve stirrup traction, an adjustable titanium screw-in spur system (inspired by track spikes) that eliminates the need for additional hardware on the ankles, and a full-length engineered zipper for easy on-and-off.
Perhaps the most revolutionary development is the most subtle: a thin, high-abrasion synthetic rubber material on the medial side of the boot that delivers improved grip on the horse and saddle, which gives the rider better communication with the animal and increased stability during demanding jumps.
-Crafted footwear that marries innovation with the classic riding boot silhouette
-Rubber outsole pads to improve traction on stirrups
-Asymmetrical zipper for comfortable on-and-off
-Track and Field-inspired screw mount spurs (three possible positions)
-Full-length Zoom Air cushioning for underfoot comfort
-High-abrasion synthetic rubber on medial boot for control and communication
(end quote from press release)
This might take some getting used to. Hopefully the spurs are also removable.
Welcome to the horse world, Nike! Now, do you anything on the drawing board for my horse's feet?
PS "Ippeas" is Greek for "rider".