During the COVID-19 pandemic, the world saw a marked increase in new digital tools and technologies. Secluded in remote working pods, Nike designers, engineers, and scientists collaborated virtually to develop the Nike Air Max Scorpion, the latest Nike Air sneaker. The sneaker offers the most air in pounds per square inch for a dynamic ride and all-day comfort shoe.
The development process took a condensed eighteen months using new virtual reality (VR) software and simulation tools. This allowed for real-time, hand-in-hand virtual collaboration, including designers and engineers from the Nike Sports Research Lab (NSRL) during the pandemic. Testing and prototyping used the Finite Element Analysis (FEA) assessment which measures performance against real-world demands. This is yet another testament to Nike’s culture of innovation, especially during the pandemic.
Nike’s Expert Materials Researcher Nancy Eisenmenger notes that this improved process allowed the team to find the edge of the material’s limits and “optimize for performance and manufacturability without any aesthetic compromise.” Previous testing protocols took eight weeks for a single idea, but the new process allows the testing of design concepts by the dozen in just five weeks. The shoe is 20% recycled content, part of Nike’s commitment to sustainability. The Air Max Scorpion’s airbag system uses a piston-like effect through strategically determined, point-loaded contact points between the foot and the airbag and launches on October 5, 2022.
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