Nike First2: Women's Soccer Design

Stopped by a soccer store the other day to pick up a new pair of shin guards after breaking mine in practice, and I ran across the new Nike First2 Women’s guards. I was going to just get a cheap pair to get me through the rest of the season, but the minute I tried on the Nike First2 pair, I didn’t want to take them off. The fit was amazing…

I had been a big skeptic initially of the Nike First2 Women’s series when it first came out. Having big feet (for a girl), I have always had a little grudge about the fact that women’s soccer cleats only run to a size 10 or 11, when I need a 12. But when I tried on the First2 Keeper gloves back in August, a little of the skepticism went away. I had never tried on a pair of gloves that had fit me so well. Often women keepers have a problem with fit of gloves because they tend to be run rather wide. My only complaint, no finger supports. However, I still bought a pair for practice gloves.

After now trying on and purchasing a pair of the First2 shin guards also, I have found myself having to give huge “Props” to the team that designed the the First2 series. So often it seems in the past, Women Specific Design has fallen short; however, I feel that Nike has hit it right on the mark here.

I’m having problems with getting the pictures to load, but you can check out the product line at:

http://www.nike.com/index.jhtml#l=nikestore,grid,_grid,f-10001/s-First2&re=US&co=US&la=EN

Question for the Pros out there: Who designs equipment such as Goalkeeper gloves and shin guards? Meaning, are there certain people that are dedicated just to Goalkeeper glove design, or? How does this align in all-around soccer powerhouses like Adidas, Nike, and Puma? Having played soccer since i was a little tyke, I have always been very interested in designing soccer equipment, but have never really seen much about it, let alone jobs posted. Anyone have any insight?

Again, props to nike…

-kt

This is really interesting as I have worked extensively with the England Women’s soccer team and they too are also very skeptical about women specifc products for soccer: the perception being that they are inferior to men’s.

The shin Guard fit you mention makes sense as the female foot typiclly has 30% less mass so it figures that the shins and limb would also differ. (you can visually see this)

With regards to the design side, I have seen everyone from apparell specialists through to car designers through to specialist product design agencies design shin guards. (i know less about gloves) I can find out some answers from the Nike soccer team and PM you and I am sure Yo will have immediate answers re: Nike.

This is really interesting as I have worked extensively with the England Women’s soccer team and they too are also very skeptical about women specifc products for soccer: the perception being that they are inferior to men’s.

There are still some issues with the First2 system around inferiority, for instance: the Keeper gloves do not have a finger support system, and if you look at them on the rating scale of durability and grip, they are one notch lower than the top level “men’s” gloves that are being produced.

Also, when looking at women’s soccer cleats, I have always wondered about the price point difference in comparison to the men’s. While a top notch women’s cleat comes at about $150, a men’s is $200. I have always wondered why this is, not that it is bad that they don’t cost as much money. However, is this because they are made with different materials, or what is the reasoning?

bespoke, England put on a good fight in the WWC, holding the reigning champs to a tie. Love Kelly Smith’s boot kissing ritual also… can’t say I have ever seen that one before! Thank you for your insight, hope I can say that one day I am working extensively with a great team like that!

In the past women’s specific soccer footwear has been poor and somewhat watered down from men’s. I have no idea about the price points as I am not in marketting but sometimes price points are set at perceived value and not typical 150% 200% mark up!

There are brands like footie chic pooping up but their footwear is not the best (yet) I know Nike are starting to turn the srew on women’s though

There are brands like footie chic pooping up but their footwear is not the best (yet) I know Nike are starting to turn the srew on women’s though

Yeah, I heard of footie chick a little bit ago now, but no offense, I don’t know any upper level female soccer players that want to buy soccer shoes by a brand that is called footie chick, let alone uses a heart to dot their i in the logo:

Looking at their about us section on their website, it looks like they are marketing to mainly to female soccer fans as being more about fashion, and less about performance:

"Passionate about both football and clothing, David Brint set up Footie Chick in July 2002 to become the leading sports fashion brand for female followers of football around the world. A fanatical Exeter City football supporter with over 20 years experience in the retail and sports clothing industry, David had long felt that women in football were not being taken seriously. He believed that women have long awaited a serious brand to bring a range of clothing that gives meaning to them and the game they love. With this vision in mind Footie Chick was born. Footie Chick is the fun, funky girl that lies within every female footie fan! She has a zest for life, a longing for fun and is up for tackling her male counterpart - on the pitch, in the stands or in the pub! And, sometimes she may even have the cheek of the devil!

The Footie Chick Brand:
Footie chick is a fashion sportswear brand, aimed at females who are funky, fashionable and maybe even a little football mad! The brand and range has been developed to reflect the style and outlook of today’s female football fans."

So, I am assuming that their footwear will not be technically developed like that of a performance company. Not sure if it is just me, but I do not get how this brand is going to get women in football to be taken more seriously…

Footie Chick is exactly as you describe although they sponsor some desent level players. I have never worked with them but I presume they need technical stuff from a women’s perspective…maybe you could be the person to provide that! Maybe you could open up a dialogue and project with David, he is an approachable guy, i have met once or twice.

Their footwear (on face value) looks like it was designed and manufactured all in one (off the shelf solution from Asia) Give it a go as it may be good experinece for you.