Friday, September 28, 2007

Nike gets Anthropologic on us

As a sports lover, someone who is interested in human bio-diversity, and someone who lives in New Mexico, it doesn't get much better than this:
via Razib at GNXP:
Native Americans get custom sneaker
some excerpts:
Nike on Tuesday unveiled the Air Native N7 -- its first shoe designed for the Native American foot -- with the stated goal of improving health on U.S. tribal lands.
The stated goal of the program: promote physical fitness among a population with higher-than-average rates of obesity and adult-onset diabetes. Profits from the sale of the shoe will be reinvested in health programs for tribal lands, company officials said.

Nike researchers and developers spent two years designing the shoe, traveling to seven locations to look at the feet of 224 Native Americans from 70 different tribes. They created a shoe to fit the average Native American foot, which is wider than the foot the Nike Air Pegasus running shoe is designed to fit. About 164 members of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs tested prototypes of the shoe before its release, the company said.

Jeff Piscotta, senior researcher in Nike's Shoe Research Laboratory, said company researchers have developed a similar custom-fit shoe design for Japanese runners, and as part of the run-up to the 2008 Olympics are researching the feet of Chinese athletes and runners to produce a better-fitting product.
Wow!!!! measurements in seven locations, 70 tribes, 224 people! Is this gonna show up in AJPA? I do wonder if there's a relationship between how wide your foot is and how much you weigh...if as is commonly assumed, Native Americans suffer from higher rates of obesity. These shoes are going for $44 a not too outrageous as we might have expected from Nike


Tom Bridgeland said...

It is just that Asians have wide, short feet. I never did find shoes that fit in 15 years living in Japan. They cannot fathom a size 14 foot, and typically wear EEE or wider shoes.

I suppose that Indians have Asian-style feet.

Yann Klimentidis said...

might just be Bergmann and Allen's rule where adaptation to the cold leads to smaller surface to volume ratio: i.e stocky vs. lanky

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