Following his runner-up performance at the weekend’s Great North Run and ahead of a crack at next April’s London Marathon, Nike is giving a team of top designers the task of delivering Mo Farah with the company’s best ever running shoe.
During a pre-world championships training stint in St. Moritz, Switzerland, a group of Nike employees watched Farah train as part of what Farah’s coach, Alberto Salazar, called, “the information-gathering stage.”
“This is a million-dollar project, once the expenses of travel, testing, research and design are accounted for”, said Farah’s coach, adding that there were close to 25 people at the first meeting about the shoe that both he and Farah attended.
Of course, Farah won’t be the first elite to race in customized shoes made by his principal sponsor. Many companies, including Nike, Asics and Skechers, have altered existing models to suit the needs of a given runner. In January, miler Jack Bolas was the first New Balance-sponsored elite to compete in customized spikes built based on biomechanical data gathered while Bolas ran at race pace.
That said, the Farah project sounds like a more substantial undertaking, befitting the marathon debut of the man who won the 5000m and 10,000m titles at the London Olympics and Moscow world championships.
“It’s going to be a terrific shoe for Mo Farah to run in and could save a couple of minutes on his time,” said Salazar. “If you can change the crank on a bike to help you, if you can change the car, why not shoes?”
Just a shame he didn’t have them for the weekend’s run!
[Via Runner’s World]