A story that covers as much territory as Nike’s does
is always difficult if not impossible, to boil down to a handful of key points, but there is a common thread that ties so many of Nike’s landmark moments together. A willingness to experiment and innovate, and to ruin household waffle makers, based on first hand input from the athletes in the field spurred Nike to do things that no one else was doing. In the early days of joggings widespread popularity, many runners complained that their knees weren’t getting enough cushioning from the running shoes designed with the softer surfaces of European trails in mind. Nike listened, and responded. When an experimental air cushioning system was deemed surplus to requirements elsewhere, Nike saw the next evolutionary leap in performance design.
Nike’s latest revelation applies this classic formula, with a modern technology twist, with the React Element 87. In 2017, after surveying runners about what they wanted and needed out of a shoe, there was an overwhelming demand for greater cushioning and energy return, with strong preferences for light weight and durability also expressed. React foam was developed in response to these results.
The React Element 87 takes the user input concept one step further, in the form of quantified data. As a lifestyle silhouette, the React Element 87 is specifically and uniquely suited to the demands placed on the wearer by daily life, as opposed to running performance shoes, which will be worn for comparatively shorter bursts of activity. Test wearer pressure maps determined the areas of the foot most stressed by a regimen of everyday activity, commuting, errands, general walking around, etc. After drilling into these areas on standard cushioning, the process was repeated with React foam.
In addition to the shoe’s performance qualities, the unique design process includes the visual translation of the pressure map results as an algorithmic pattern, resulting in the sole’s distinctive, debossed wavy look. The shoe’s lightweight textile upper and asymmetrical tongue continue the theme, while a silhouette inspired by a 1980s running classic, the Internationalist, tempers the ultra modern sensibility with an old-school influence, for an overall style that offers a contemporary cutting edge and timelessly casual style.
We took to the street with talents by writer and model, Elyanna Sanchez, to deliver a take on styling the new Nike Element React 87. Check out our conversation with Elle in the editorial below.
What do you like to identify yourself as?
I describe myself as a fluid artist and writer. I don’t really like labels when it comes to sexuality, etc. Overall I am an artist. Regarding race, I’m Filipino, Puerto Rican and Japanese.
As you continue to grow as an artist and develop as person, how would you describe your sense of style currently?
Always changing and fluid. I think it’s great when ones style changes as one grows. I used to never wear color and now I find myself wearing bright yellow and red. I have little touches here and there that define me, like long ropes.
The choice of vibrant colors really complimented the shoes. How in other ways you put these looks together to style well with the Nike React?
I do like pops of color every now and then, not sure where it came from, but I love the fact that I can change it up with the color socks I’m wearing and match it with my outfit. I always go for interesting textures and materials. I’ve always had a thing for textiles ever since I was a little kid. I love pairing different pieces and seeing how it feels! Sneakers are exciting to find outfits for because there’s so much you can do with them.
Besides fashion and styling, you participate other creative endeavors. How do you find these other interests and how do you use them to explore and express yourself?
As a creative I find inspiration in everything, from nature, to the shapes of modern buildings. As someone who goes to school for writing I find a lot of excitement in words and language. I find the way I dress to be visual poetry. It can make you feel something, like excitement, and that’s what I go for. I want my entire being to be drenched with language in the same way I write.
Bodega is all about the neighborhood. What are some favorite neighborhood spots for you
I live in Rockland County but I come down to NYC to shoot my outfits. I think that wherever I go I find some place exciting. It’s a mentality.