For the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Nike, Portland, Oregon manufacturer better known for more demotic athletic footwear, has introduced the Nike Ippeas, an up-dated take on the traditional riding boot.
Press release quoted by Sneaker Freaker:
Nike Ippeas (Greek for â€œRiderâ€) should be: “Hippeas” -DZ
Equestrian footwear has not changed much in the last century. The sport is steeped in traditional English heritage where leather boots, wood soles, and hard-pressed leather outsoles have been standard issue for horseback riding since the 1800s. Nike designers wanted to bring new innovation to that paradigm while still respecting the institution of the sport. For Beijing, Nikeâ€™s Equestrian footwear reflects the best elements of the sportâ€™s deep traditions, but is elevated by innovative design and unique performance features. Again, designers started with the athlete. After listening to insights and ideas from top equestrian athletes, several rounds of prototypes were produced and improved with each effort. The final creation was the Nike Ippeas, a beautiful leather and synthetic boot that provides protection, support, traction, traditional aesthetic, and horse control in a total package that also reduces weight by eliminating the need for strap-on spurs.
Nike developed many innovations for the Nike Ippeas, including rubber pads for the outsoles of the boots to improve stirrup traction, an adjustable titanium screw-in spur system (inspired by track spikes) that eliminates the need for additional hardware on the ankles, and a full-length engineered zipper for easy on-and-off. Perhaps the most revolutionary development is the most subtle: a thin, high-abrasion synthetic rubber material on the medial side of the boot that delivers improved grip on the horse and saddle, which gives the rider better communication with the animal and increased stability during demanding jumps.
Crafted footwear that marries innovation with the classic silhouette a riding boot
Rubber outsole pads to improve traction on stirrups
Asymmetrical zipper for comfortable on-and-off
Track and field-inspired screw mount spurs (three possible positions)
Full length Zoom Air cushioning for underfoot comfort
High-abrasion synthetic rubber on medial boot for control and communication