Nike's Free technology has helped spearhead the Swoosh as a dominant player in the running category and this year, they celebrate the Free's 10-year anniversary. Anytime you celebrate a decade's worth of work, it's always nice to go back and review your history. Tobie Hatfield, the pioneer behind Free and yes, Tinker's younger brother, discusses the origins of the Free and a host of other insightful stories with Design Boom.
When asked about how the Free came about, Hatfield refers to a trip at Stanford University where he watched their track team train barefoot on grass. This is what refers to as his "aha moment." Hatfield says, "Our challenge was to design a shoe that allowed you to feel as close to running barefoot on the grass as possible while giving optimum protection to your feet in typical training and city environments." After five years of intense research, that very challenge was eventually conquered and Free technology was born.
For more tales from Nike's innovation kitchen, read the full interview with Hatfield here and be thankful that this super comfortable sneaker exists today.