The evolution of sports footwear has been an exciting one, to say the least. Countless innovations and increasing technological disruption in the industry have collided to create an industry that is not only flourishing, but continuously proving its value in a world where many industries are struggling and even collapsing. We live in a world where sport is a constant centre, and it is one that a challenging place to not only thrive, but succeed beyond measure. The footwear industry is inclusive, and the sports footwear sector of that industry has blown up to such a point that it can confidently and effectively thrive as its own industry altogether. The challenges are difficult, the innovations are awe-inspiring. At the helm of most innovations in sports footwear in this modern era, is technology. The aim of any self-respecting shoe brand is to create high quality shoes which are as comfortable as those handmade by Tuccipolo. However, Nike is the sportswear brand that has taken that ideal and elevated it, time and again, to push its sports footwear higher all the time. Technology has allowed for that to happen at an unprecedented rate.
Nike has worked with various technologies in the pursuit of perfecting the sports shoe, and each of the utilised technologies has served as a force to heighten the brand to new, unparalleled levels. For measure, Nike’s patents have nearly doubled since 2009 (less than ten years ago), and the company now has the third largest US portfolio of design patents in the entire world. Nike’s focus on innovation and technology has served to forge a manufacturing edge that sets it apart from its competitors, as well as a definitive impact on the consumers that love the brand so much. Innovative technologies are being used to heighten the brand’s presence and overall impact, and they are technologies that have been strategically chosen to drive Nike’s revenue and global impact upward, because of their innovative traits. As of 2016, sports footwear accounts for nearly 50% of its valuation, so it makes perfect sense that the technologies and innovative technologies chosen to elevate the brand are ones that can be – and are being – directly applied to improving the sports footwear the brand is so famous for.
One type of technology that has successfully pulled Nike over the line again and again in the industry. Lunarlon technology is essentially the formula for the foam core that correlates to the even distribution of impact on the foot during sports activity. This technology single handedly changed the game in sports footwear, and it is one of Nike’s most proud achievements in the world of sporting footwear enhancement. This is just one example of Nike’s pioneering presence in the world of sports footwear technology, but it is one of the most prominent to date, and it is the strongest in terms of understanding the impact technology has on this particular industry. While Nike is not without its competition, it is the brand that constantly proves to be at the forefront of revolutionary innovations not just in sports footwear, but in the climate surrounding the sporting universe as well.
One of the technologies that Nike is in the works to embrace into its business model and methods is 3D printing technology. By introducing 3D printing technology to its arsenal, Nike will be able to produce even more of its shoes than it currently does. With millions of pairs of Nikes flying off the shelves every day of the year, year after year, this is an astounding realisation of Nike’s intent to use technology to propel its business methods forward to unprecedented heights. The biggest advantage of the sporting goods giant is that it never loses sight of the primary objectives: responsiveness, speed, feel, touch, and style. It is rare for a sports footwear brand to perfectly and seamlessly encompass all five of these objectives into every item that rolls out of their manufacturers, but Nike manages to do it again and again. Additionally, the success of Nike can be, at least partially, attributed to its power in knowing its target demographic to a T, and using that knowledge to exceed goals, always not only meeting expectations but soaring past them to deliver something even better than promised.
Nike is the leading sportswear company in the world. While the titan of industry is not without its competition, it is not in danger of losing its status as the single largest sportswear brand worldwide. Additionally, it is the brand that sells more sports shoes than any other brand, continuously hitting share records again and again. The further the technology drives the empire to new heights, the stronger the brand loyalty grows. Just when it seemed that the brand loyalty that is unique to Nike could not get any stronger, the sportswear brand infamous for its sports footwear goes and hits another milestone, smashes through another goal, or elevates the game another notch or five. The world adores Nike, and the technology that has strengthened the brand tenfold is definitely a significant part of that adoration.