Nike continues its commitment to innovation and sustainability by launching the new Infinity RN 4 running shoe. Recognizing the importance of protecting the planet, Nike has combined cutting-edge performance design with more sustainable manufacturing and materials. The shoe features an all-new Nike ReactX foam midsole, which reduces the carbon footprint by at least 43% compared to the previous Nike React while providing runners with 13% more energy return.
“Many people today incorporate running in their lives as a way of powering a holistic betterment journey and they’ve asked us for a shoe that would support their performance and the planet too”, says Jeongwoo Lee, Nike’s Senior Design Director. “The InfinityRN 4 was designed to provide supportive cushioning for a smooth run. The shoe’s testing was led through women runners, whose insights influenced an all-new upper design with updated materials, as well as the soft cushioning underfoot.”
The development of ReactX foam was a breakthrough that challenged traditional foam manufacturing methods. By utilizing injection molding instead of compression molding, Nike achieved a more efficient and lower carbon footprint process without compromising on performance. The innovative formulation of ReactX foam combines the best aspects of both methods, maintaining sustainability, achieving impressive performance metrics, and working within the existing supply chain infrastructure.
“Athletic performance and impact on the planet aren’t mutually exclusive,” said Bret Schoolmeester, Nike’s Senior Footwear Director. “Our goal is to make athletes better and make the planet better for athletes. With materials representing about 70% of Nike’s total carbon footprint, innovating new, more sustainable materials is a top priority and we’ll do that, while delivering better performance.”
The Infinity RN 4 also boasts an all-new Nike Flyknit upper, maximizing airflow, breathability, flexibility, and containment while using 60% less waste than traditional footwear-upper manufacturing. The shoe incorporates a soft and supportive foam collar, a midfoot support system, and a water-resistant liner for enhanced comfort and performance.
Furthermore, the shoe’s waffle outsole provides durable traction, and its unique rocker design supports the three phases of a runner’s stride, offering flexibility when pushing off, a smooth ride during forward movement, and cushioning upon landing.
Nike has a history of pairing innovation with sustainability, with initiatives like the “Reuse a shoe program” and using recycled materials in apparel. The Infinity RN 4 joins the ranks of other Nike running shoes, such as Flyknit, Vapormax, Alphafly Next Nature, and Pegasus Turbo Next Nature, that have pushed the boundaries of sustainable production and redefined consumer expectations.
“Without a healthy planet, there is no future for sport,” said Golnaz Armin, Nike’s Material Innovation VP. “We all need to do more, and a key driver is addressing solutions at scale. Nike’s ReactX has that potential.”
The Nike InfinityRN 4 will be available in North America in August.
Article written by Shawn Grant #TheSource