There are plenty of football cleats out there, but the Nike Vapor, Alpha, and Force lines are truly special.
Want proof? Just check out their game-changing generative design process. Before each cleat reaches your foot, Nike takes actual athlete data from their Sport Research Lab and implements it into the cleat plate. So before Nike introduced the new Alpha Menace cleats, they brought in Russell Wilson to wear-test them and give his own feedback. All of this led to a cleat optimized specifically with the flex points and support that agile players like the Seattle QB need.
We sat down with Kyle Strek and Erin Cochrane, two designers on the Nike Football Footwear Team, to dive into the details and find out what else makes each cleat so unique.
The Focus: Speed
The Inspiration: Odell Beckham Jr.
Kyle Strek (K.S.): With the Vapor, everything revolves around being lightweight and getting a second-skin fit. We want these cleats to feel like they are a part of your body. The Vapor Untouchable 2 specifically has a Flyweave upper, and that’s huge because the material doesn’t stretch at all. It’s so tightly woven, if you look closely, there are probably 10,000 ends of thread inside each upper. It’s similar to the seatbelt of a car — it keeps you so locked in and is completely non-stretch.
The carbon fiber plate gives you a lot of forefoot snappiness. Whether it’s a receiver jumping off the line or a defensive back getting in those first few backpedal steps, these speed players are really focused on that area of the foot. This plate gives them that energy return and explosion.
K.S.: Here, it was all about showing off the fastest guys on the field, the guys with the most athleticism. Odell fits that idea perfectly. His ability to run full speed forward and switch directions in a split second, how he can jump over people — we’ve all seen the incredible stuff he’s able to do on the field.
Erin Cochrane (E.C.): The designs definitely embody each unique player. For the Vapor, those fast chevron shapes coming from the toe and moving back represent how fast and athletic Odell is when he’s moving down the field.
words // Luis Sanchez
Every season, one of the greatest efforts in the NFL comes during the league’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. One of the biggest supporters of the NFL’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month is the Swoosh, as shown here with the all-new BCA Nike Vapor Jet Receiver Gloves. Sporting a pink-based Breast Cancer Awareness colorway, the Nike Vapor Jet Receiver Gloves will be all-over the league next month, along with plenty of Breast Cancer Awareness Nike Football cleats.
The Nike Vapor Jet Receiver Gloves features a dual-tension strap to provide the best fit possible, along with a backhand ventilated mesh panel providing lightweight breathability. Maximum grip is provided by a Magnigrip CL palm, making for one of the most preferred Nike Receiver Gloves on the market.
10% of the proceeds from the BCA Nike Vapor Jet Receiver Gloves will go towards Breast Cancer Awareness.
words // Brandon Richard
We’re just a little over a week away from NFL Kickoff 2011, which is set to take place next Thursday. In a matchup between the league’s last two Super Bowl Champions, the New Orleans Saints will travel to Lambeau Field to take on Greg Jennings and the Green Bay Packers. That game will only mark the beginning of a loaded Week 1, which concludes with a Monday Night double-header.
It’s hard to believe that it was 15 years ago when the Dallas Cowboys entered the 1996 season as the defending Super Bowl Champions. With an offense led by Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin (aka “The Triplets”), the ‘Boys were one of the most exciting teams to ever suit up on Sunday. What made the ’96 Cowboys even more special was their ability to match that excitement on the defensive side of the ball, mostly because of shutdown cornerback and 2011 Hall of Famer “Prime Time” Deion Sanders.
For the ’96 season, Deion was laced with the fourth shoe in his famous Nike Diamond Turf series, the Air D.T. 4 Max. Styled in Cowboy colors, the turf trainer featured a full-grain leather build, midfoot support strap and visible Max Air 2 unit in the heel. There was also Dallas inspiration packed into the design, like star detailing on the tongue and outsole.
In that same season, a running back by the name of Barry Sanders won his third NFL rushing title, leading the league with more than 1,500 yards. On his feet was the Nike Air Zoom Turf, one of the first nubbed football shoes that had cross-over appeal with sneaker enthusiasts. What made the shoes awesome at the time, aside from an outstanding design, was the fact that everybody thought they could make Barry Sanders-like cuts if they wore nubbed trainers like he did. It’s now 2011, and we still haven’t seen anybody make cuts like Barry did. It never hurt anybody to dream, though.
We can only hope the 2011 NFL season brings us as many memories as 1996 did. What do you remember most about what happened on the field in 1996?
words // Brandon Richard
With an aerodynamic build and low-profile cushioning, the Nike Alpha Vapor One is perfectly tooled for the speedy skill position player. Shaking defenders and blockers is made easier with superb support and ground-gripping traction, which also allows players to accelerate right from their stance. Other features include a one-piece synthetic upper, perforated tongue, phylon midsole with Zoom Air unit, Flywire supports and injected Vapor outsole cleats.
The new Nike Football cleats seen here in perhaps its most fitting colorway to date, a stealthy black look that makes sure it’s all business on the field. Accenting the cleat are hits of metallic silver on the inner liner, forefoot Swoosh and cleat plate. White-tipped studs and Swoosh branding finish off the look below. Available along with several other colorways at Eastbay today.
words // Brandon Richard
Another day, another look at one of the newest Nike football cleats, the Alpha Vapor One. Designed for quick skill position players who want control over every movement, the low-profile Alpha Vapor One features a one-piece synthetic build for comfort and durability. The tongue is perforated to enhance breathability, while Flywire technology and a TPU heel clip stabilizer offer lightweight support and a secure lockdown fit. A Pebax plate with injected Vapor outsole bladed cleats and secondary sub-cleats increases traction.
This Alpha Vapor One features an Orange Flash base with black Alpha graphic detailing wrapped around the heel. Black also works the laces, inner liner, heel clip and toebox Swoosh branding. The midsole and outsole plate are done in orange, with black-tipped spikes finishing off the look below. This colorway, and several others, are available at Eastbay today.