Our sneakers used to have one job to do. If you were a runner, that job was to help you log injury-free miles; if you were more into strength training, it was to keep you grounded for your lifts. But with the rise of boutique fitness, and more specifically of HIIT workouts, our sneakers are now forced through dozens of different movements in the course of a single session—from sprints to burpees to jump lunges. And so, Nike set out to develop a shoe that could do it all.
The brand created their latest SuperRep family of shoes specifically with today’s fitness classes in mind. “Fitness classes are booming around the world,” Jamie Jeffries, VP and GM of Nike Training said in a statement. “Working out is its own sport, and Nike’s SuperRep shoes are designed to deliver on the performance needs [that are] specific to these activities.”
The first shoe in the collection, the Nike Air Zoom SuperRep ($120), is meant to make HIIT workouts easier on athletes’ bodies. The diverse movements performed in these types of routines put forth a lot of impact on your joints (think: jump squats and high knees), which means that the right sneaker needs to have cushion and support. But Nike noticed that most of the options out there only offered one or the other, forcing people to choose which was most important to their movements. And so, the Nike Air Zoom SuperRep has air pockets in the forefoot to provide impact protection, and a heel-to-toe plate that helps roll your foot forward to ready you for HIIT movements. There’s even something called a “burpee break” that helps to stabilize your foot for movements like planks, mountain climbers, and (of course) burpees.
Having put the shoes to the test at a recent Nike event, I can confirm that they are a HIIT class dream come true. When doing mountain climbers, there was zero of that annoying slippage that tends to happen with regular sneakers when you push your feet off of the floor. Also in the sneakers, my tuck jumps were higher than ever—I felt like I was being propelled off of the floor.
The Nike Air Zoom SuperRep officially launches on January 2, and will be joined later this year by the SuperRep Cycle (for spinning), so that everyone will have the perfect shoe to wear to whatever workout class they’re opting into.
Want to put the Air Zoom to the ultimate test? Try this HIIT workout:
This isn’t the only recent launch from Nike we’re freaking out about: The brand’s latest running shoe helps cut down on injury by 50 percent. Plus, they designed a sneaker particularly for people who stand all day.
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