1 on 1 with Nike Senior Product Manager Zach Bromert
The training category in footwear hasn’t been as popular as it is now since the days of Bo Jackson. While we don’t currently have ad campaigns like “Bo Knows,” today’s technology blows those of yesteryear out of the water. We caught up with Nike Senior Product Manager Zach Bromert to learn what his process was for developing the Zoom Huarache Trainer Mid, Trainer 1.2 Low, the next generation of Free Trainer and also learn more about the upcoming Zoom Huarache Trainer Low. What did Zach reveal about our favorite Trainers? Read below to find out.
Walk us through the steps of designing the revamped Zoom Huarache Trainer.
I think the insight was that the Huarache is all about fit, comfort and the ride for the athlete. That exoskeleton design really takes weight away and is super iconic. We wanted to take that idea, which is still relevant to athletes now, and improve on it. We made it lighter, more flexible, gave it more protection with Zoom Air and two different densities of foam, and we made the bootie lighter with a better fit for lockdown. That was really the idea of taking an insight that was still real and making it better.
What other specific Nike technology is employed beyond the dual foams and Zoom Air?
On the outsole, we used our Delta Node Traction pattern, which is great on multiple surfaces. As the athlete goes from the track to the gym to the court, it’s going to work out. Also, we used our Diamond Flex Technology, which allows the athlete to move well and enables them to go multiple directions. From an internal standpoint, we have the big Zoom Air bag underneath the heel for protection and, like we talked about, the two different densities of Phylon in the midsole to give you that ride and support you need. In the bootie, our design team did a great job with how it’s constructed; less layers, more breathability and better comfort.
"We’re working hard to be consistent, bring innovation and stay on top of our game."
What kind of structural changes were made for the Zoom Huarache Trainer Low?
Really, what we wanted to do again was make things lighter. We dropped the top overlay height down and removed the strap to reduce weight and make it a lighter training product for our athletes.
Will it be a more comfortable shoe for longer runs and summer workouts in the heat?
From a weight perspective, it’s just going to be lighter and even more breathable as the temperatures start to heat up.
Nike Zoom Huarache Trainer Low
How do you feel about Amar’e Stoudemire having such a big year in the NBA wearing your training shoe (Zoom Huarache Trainer Mid)?
It’s amazing to see athletes adopt product that they think is going to work for them. I noticed that he’s been wearing it, and it’s great to see that it’s working out so well for him.
Was it surprising to see that shoe used for basketball?
We really just try to focus on making stuff that works, and you never know how it will be adopted. You just try to build it, so it will handle a lot of different movements, surfaces and activities. But you never know what might happen.
Which is your favorite colorway in the Zoom Huarache Trainer “Superheroes” Pack?
You know, I have to go with the “Green Hornet.” I thought that one was great. For an all green shoe, it was super wearable, but it had nice energy with the Volt. I liked it a lot.
To read page 2 of the interview click here.
Nike Free Trainer (2011)
What are some of the improvement we can expect to see on the next generation of Free Trainer?
Free is all about natural motion and letting the foot move and operate as it should, which helps naturally strengthen the muscles in your foot. From an upper perspective, we picked a mesh that was lighter, more comfortable to give a better fit and overall experience. We also added a few overlays at the midfoot, on both the medial and lateral sides to better contain the athlete as they train. The midsole and outsole are the same (as the previous generation) because we just had a great read on it, and we’re continuing to move that forward.
Are we going to to continue to see more and more models use Free?
It’s a foundation we want to continue to build off of, and we just want to keep that sharp point of natural motion and helping athletes become more explosive. It will be continue to be part of our offering as we go forward.
When can we expect the next Free shoe?
It’ll be out in the summer.
Nike Trainer 1.2 Low
What were some of the changes made on the Trainer 1.2 Low in comparison to the Mid?
A lot of the same kind of themes from Huarache and Free such as trying to make that product lighter. Again, we lowered the height and the collar to reduce weight and increase mobility a little bit more. We removed the forefoot strap since we felt we had enough lockdown with the overlays. But otherwise, not much. Our tagline for this shoe is, “The most versatile shoe,” so the traction to the midsole cushioning to the Flywire in the upper and all the other innovations are there to give you that lighter trainer with the right amount of stability.
"I think the insight was that the Huarache is all about fit, comfort and the ride for the athlete. We wanted to take that idea, which is still relevant to athletes now, and improve on it."
If you had to choose one, which would be your favorite out ofthe Huarache, Trainer 1.2 and Free Trainer?
I couldn’t say. We worked so hard as a team on each. They all mean a lot to me.
Can you tease with anything for next year?
Nope. All I can say is that we’re working hard to be consistent, bring innovation and stay on top of our game. We’re going to continue to do this [points to all three shoes] next year.
Nike Free Winter TR Wolf Grey/Black
Nike’s new favorite color makes the transition from retro makeups to performance models on the Nike Free Winter TR. Wolf grey covers the upper complete with black accents on the branding and midsole. Open hole mesh is replaced on this winter ready version for a warmer, more durable feel. This new training model from Nike is available now at Eastbay.
Nike Free Winter TR
Nike Free TR White/Tech Grey-Photo Blue
Stepping away from tonal color blocking, the Nike Free TR takes on a White/Tech Grey-Photo Blue makeup. White mesh is supported by tech grey Flywire and silver highlights. Photo blue touches the tongue and white Free midsole. This popular gym shoe and next generation trainer is available now at Finishline.
Nike Free TR
White/Tech Grey-Photo Blue
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Nike Free TR Black/Royal
Nike Training incorporates Free technology on the Nike Free TR. Tonal color blocking sees a black upper complimented by royal lining and accents. Both colors are carried over from the upper to the Free sole showcasing the performance cushioning. This pair is available now at Finishline.
Nike Free TR
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Nike Free TR Grey/Orange
Grey uppers aren’t just for the street or the hardwood. The go to base invades the gym with the Nike Free TR Grey/Orange. Tonal color blocking is displayed as an orange midsole and accent detail brighten up a predominately grey makeup. Flywire support and a Free outsole provide performance to this Nike trainer. Pick them up at Finishline.
Nike Free TR
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