When Nike brought us out to Portland, OR at the beginning of the week, we had no idea that the media event would yield such a high output of product for the coming Beijing  Olympics. With over 32 sports being addressed with new footwear – everything from the Pidima for gymnastics to the Arkibis for archery – Nike has indeed innovated where much innovation was seen unnecessary.

Example for our Equestrian readers: the Nike Ippeas is one those simple products that has people wondering why we didnt innovate earlier. “Equestrian footwear has not changed much in the last century. The sport is steeped in traditional English heritage where leather boots, wood soles and hard-pressed leather outsoles have been standard issue for horseback riding since the 1800s… 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.”

Full views of the Nike Ippeas after the jump.

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