Kids of the 80s will remember the good old Chinese Finger Trap toy. It’s a woven product that when a finger is stuck in either end, pulling, or the more you pull, the more difficult it is to remove the digits. Put more simply, it’s like a handcuff for your fingers. Course, breaking yourself free isn’t exactly a brain teaser.
Nike’s newest shoe, the Free Trainer 5.0, uses a woven upper that is said to mimic a Chinese Finger Trap toy. How so? “Like the toy, the upper consists of intertwined bands that are soft and pliable. When the foot is at rest or moving forward or backward the bands are flexible and compliant. When pressure is applied with side-to-side movements the bands engage and tighten around the foot for enhanced support.” Most certainly a neat idea, but the analogy is not one that instills me full of confidence. After all, Chinese Finger Trap toys were a fad and more than likely were manufactured in someone’s basement that employed sweat shop labor tactics. Wait, that doesn’t sound too dissimilar to Nike? Zing.
Nevertheless, the Free Trainer 5.0 is geared towards the athlete that, well, cross trains; gym, field, or on the track. The shoe’s aesthetic is most certainly eye-catching, though I prefer a much lower profile as too much cushion can be unsettling while running or performing other leg oriented activities.
The Nike Free Trainer 5.0 hits stores March 28th for a yet to be disclosed price.