Unveiling the Nike Sole, from insidenikerunning, note by Larry Eder

You have to see this to believe it. Sarah Reinersten is the first women on a prosthetic leg to complete the Ironman Triathlon. Truly emotional view, and after that, your day and your challenges pail in comparison.
Nike at its best is totally geek. Tobie Hatfield, brother of Tinker Hatfield, is one of the most creative shoe geeks in world. A former pole vaulter, Tobie sees stuff just a bit more skewed that other humans. That is the beauty of this film. Toby took the Össur Flex-Run prosthetic and made it better, using running shoe technology.
Sarah Reinersten swims 2.6 miles, bikes 112 miles and then runs 26.2 miles on a prosthetic leg, made by Osser and improved by Nike.

Nike is introducing a new sole utilizing state-of-the art design
methods and technologies to create a lightweight, durable composite sole
that can easily be used with Össur’s Flex-Run prosthetic blade for amputee athletes. 

Not all competitive athletes have the privilege of competing without
obstacles, so Nike has designed the new Nike Sole in conjunction with
amputee triathlete and World Record Holder Sarah Reinertsen and Össur, a
leader in the orthopedics industry known for their advanced prosthetic

“This project is a special one for Nike,” said Tobie Hatfield, Nike
Innovation Director. “The Nike Sole is a shining example of our passion
and commitment to serve athletes and provide them the solutions they
need to achieve their goals – we’re always listening to the voice of
every athlete.”

The Nike Sole features an integrated layered sole
including an outsole, midsole and thermal plastic urethane called
Aeroply, made of recycled Nike Air Bag units, serving as moderator
between Nike Sole and the Össur Flex-Run’s carbon fiber blade. Nine
nylon plastic tabs serve as fingers that wrap snugly around the Flex-Run
carbon fiber blade for secure lock down and easy on-off. A stretch
rubber leash with tactile grip tab for easy placement over medallion
fastener provides additional security. 

“The Össur Flex-Run enables amputees of all abilities to achieve
their athletic goals,” said Jon Sigurdsson, Össur’s president and CEO.
“This exciting collaboration has leveraged Össur’s unmatched research
and development in running prosthetics with Nike’s first-class
technologies, resulting in a product unlike any other.”

The first Nike prototype sole used by Reinertsen was made from a Nike
Free 5.0 Trail outsole, which was adhered to a plastic-based sleeve
that would slide onto the blade. Tobie Hatfield, Nike’s Innovation
Director, worked closely with Reinertsen to tweak the next round of
prototypes based on her feedback wear testing the sole unit.

Reinertsen, who faced the constant challenge of an unstable and
unpredictable footwear solution, was born with proximal femoral focal
deficiency. She had a bone-growth disorder which eventually led to her
becoming an above-the-knee amputee at seven years old.  Following the
amputation she began to run track and broke the 100-meter world record
for female above-the-knee amputees at the age of 13. 

Like most competitive amputee athletes, Reinertsen competes today in
marathons and triathlons using an Össur Flex-Run prosthetic carbon fiber
blade and Nike Sole. In 2006, she began working with Hatfield and the
Nike Innovation Kitchen on a solution for her prosthetic outsole needs. 

Previously, Reinertsen would use the outsole of a traditional running
shoe as her prosthetic “shoe.” With limited innovations with prosthetic
soles, this cobbling approach to creating solutions using regular
running footwear had become the norm.  The new Flex-Run with Nike Sole
provides a reliable advantage and is now available through prosthetists’
offices globally.

Reinertsen’s career success includes seven marathons (NYC 1997, 1998;
LA 1998, 1999; Millennium New Zealand 2000; London 2002; and Boston
2004) and she was the first female above the knee amputee to complete
the Ironman® World Championship in Hawaii in 2005.  She’s hungry for
more success.

Comments 1

  1. A smile on my face. I am proud of you Sarah and also to NIKE company they’ve been so helpful to made someones dream do come true. This is a very inspiring story that though you don’t have the other piece of you yet you still remain strong and determine.

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