Ahead of the official unveil of Nike's latest running kit, Pocket-lint got our hands on the forthcoming Nike Free Hyperfeel running shoes.
The Hyperfeel - which are available in hyper-bright men's and women's colour schemes, as you can see from our hands-on pictures - are light in the hand. The US size 10 - better known as size 9 in the UK - weighs in at 181g per shoe which, while not quite in the same league as the 99g Adidas adiZero football boot, is impressive. Cheap running shoes can be oppressively weighty on the foot, and the Hyperfeels sure aren't.
The shoe itself is a combination of existing Nike technologies fused into a new specification. Starting with the top, the Hyperfeel is made of Flyknit - Nike's lightweight thread that fits almost like a sock, but delivers far more rigidity and support. The construction has been produced to follow the foot's form in motion, so those apparent suspension-bridge-like lines are there for comfort and support and will move and adjust to follow the foot in motion when out on the road.
The sole of the shoe is based on Nike's Lunar technology, which offers a slightly cushioned feel for a smooth ride. Although Flyknit gives a near-barefoot design to the Hyperfeel, the Lunar sole prevents any subtle obstacles in the road from giving too much of that barefoot discomfort. Nike even made us walk over some bark wearing only socks on the feet to get a feel of how such protrusions can strike into the foot without that added protection. Not quite hot coals, but a clear demo nonetheless.
All this is wrapped up in a 0.7mm thick - or thin - rubber sole for protection against the elements, but which also provides a lightweight and flexible solution that can articulate with the foot's natural motion. The sole also has what Nike calls "waffles" - those soft protrusions which help with grip but also act like pistons to give direct feedback to the foot and additional cushioning from the underfoot elements.
Just how well does it work? - that we'll be testing out in the near future when we don the Hyperfeel running shoes on the track. Watch this space.
The Nike Free Hyperfeel running shoes will be available in September, priced $175 (USD - UK pricing is yet to be announced).