Co.Design

How Chinese Street Ballers Inspired Nike's Hyperfuse Tech

Shane Kohatsu, Nike's Innovation Lead for Basketball, wanted to make a shoe tough enough for Chinese street ball.

In China, street basketball players have some pretty odd footwear: everything from hiking boots to cross-trainers, anything to withstand the brutal outdoor heat or stand up to the hard asphalt underfoot. Shane Kohatsu, Nike's Innovation Lead for Basketball, noticed these things on a research trip to China in 2008 and decided there had to be a way to give players the breathability and durability they needed in one shoe. Kohatsu called the resulting fabric Hyperfuse.

Ben Shaffer, Nike's Innovation Lead for Sportswear, noticed that the composite Hyperfuse material had some odd properties when color was applied -- the hues didn't fully absorb into the fabric, so the colors were extra-vibrant and could even be seen through each other in different layers. They wondered what some classic Nikes like the Air Max 90 and the Air Force One would look like Hyperfused, so they made them.

Wear these on a street ball court and you'll have a double advantage -- your feet won't get overheated, and you'll be able to drive right past your opponents while they're staring at the electric colors below your knees.

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2 Comments

  • Kathleen Brandenburg

    Love it! Amazing thinking Shane--can't wait to see what you and Kitchen do next. I need to get one of those green machines...