Nike Wushu: Shaolinquan

By - July 9th, 2008

Nike  Wushu: Shaolinquan

Wushu (武術), contemporary sporting event based on the martial art of Kung Fu (功夫) and with a linage that traced back some 3000 years ago. This unique category focus on each athletes’ forms and styles, rather than the applications. Though it will not take part in the 2008 Summer Olympics at Beijing, the International Olympic Committee did permit the governing body of Wushu in creating a special event to take place around the same time. In showing its support for this ancient art form, Nike is introducing Shaolinquan.

With inputs from Wushu practitioners as well as motion capture of them in action. Nike revamped a shoe, which popularized in the West by Bruce Lee 3 decades ago, into a high tech athletic gear. The all gum rubber sole includes 4 pivot points for the Wushu masters to spin, turn, and kick more easily. On side wall, a small red Chinese “Wu” (æ­¦) character is engraved on. Next, Nike designer Sean McDowell had to take into consideration an unique Wushu move called “Slap Kick” – athletes would kick upward, their arms and legs fully extended, then make contact if their hand via: their foot . McDowell and Nike design team shortened the laces and created a recess to store the lace tips so athletes would not cut their hands during the incessant procedure. Another was the vamp, the top side of the sneaker. To optimize the desirable audio cue, a loud pop, Nike tested several leather samples before selecting an enhanced version of kangaroo leather. The same kangaroo leather is found on new Nike Taekwondo footwear TKV, where a loud audio cue is needed as well.

> Nike

> Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic Games
> International Wushu Federation