Sunday, December 21, 2008

Answer XII - The Gridiron on the Hardwood

It's a well known fact that football is AI's favorite sport.
The way he plays football is what defines Evasive Protection. What is Evasive Protection?

On a football field, bigger guys always tried to get a hit on AI. The thing that kept him from getting hurt was not getting hit.

His style of protection is avoidance. It was not about putting extra strength or extra pounds, but it was about being faster than anybody. So rather than adding excessive materials for protection, it was engineered to maximize the speed of the player- Speed is the best form of Protection.

Clear TPU on the heel is inspired by the football gear. It is an external heel counter that gives extra support, and also helps form a shape that is close to AI's last. Instead of adding an overlay material to cover the heelcup, it is completely exposed to accentuate the curves around the ankle and to minimize unnecessary weight. The new hidden ghillie system is an another detail that exemplifies the concept of A12. The Question-inspired webbing is protected by slits on quarter panel to prevent from being scuffed. It's a nice solution to add a protection without adding an extra material.

Reebok also found a new way to laser etch the graphics on the backside of TPU. Details like the blurry Answer logo on the heel is a subtle way to symbolize one of the fastest players ever to play the game. A12 is a shoe that embodies competitive spirit and skill of AI.





Subtle but carefully engineered details like the wavy herringbone makes a significant difference on hardwood. If you feel the outsole, the pattern will rise and fall- it's not just flat to the ground. It has the right amount of grip to get the best traction to help maneuver quickly on court.