Think back to when you were a kid; running freely with the warmth of the earth beneath your feet. Do you remember that unrestricted feeling, unburdened by shoes or socks? That feeling is captured in a revolutionary concept by Nike. It is the concept of natural motion and Nike’s vision to create shoes that place an athlete closer to the ground, enabling one to be more in tune with one’s body and innate physical abilities.
That very concept was brought to life at the Nike Run Free event that took place over the weekend, which celebrated 10 years of Natural Motion with the launch of the 2014 Nike Free Collection. The exclusive 5.5km run saw 400 runners take to the streets of Johannesburg, with 200 runners starting from Rosebank and the other half from Braamfontein with a shared finish at The Wilds Park in Houghton.
The Nike Run Free was elevated by the presence of two renowned Kenyan athletes who are no strangers to the natural motion concept; 2013 World Champion silver medalist in women’s 5,000m, Mercy Cherono and the 2013 world’s fifth fastest men’s 1,500 m champion, Bethwell Birgen.
“We had a great time at the Nike Run Free event this weekend. Running with a pair of Nike Free trainers is an unbelievable sensation. The shoe allows you to activate every muscle and provides protection and traction with an incredible lightweight feel,” says Kenyan athlete, Mercy Cherono. “Nike’s advancements in technology and product engineering have pushed the boundaries of footwear design. The new Nike Free 2014 collection has allowed us more freedom than ever before,” she says.
Kenyan long distance runner, Bethwell Birgen commented that “The Nike Natural Motion concept has truly revolutionised the way that athletes are able to move. The 2014 Nike Free Collection’s lightness and flexibility allows the athlete the ability to move more naturally and by doing so, really empowers us with the freedom to perform better.”
The 2014 Nike Free running collection makes a performance statement echoing those famous words from coach and Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman. Bowerman’s belief was that design should focus on the athlete’s body and movement.