Nike Running chasing Asics???

I saw the Nike Air Vomero today while I was out and about and couldn’t help but think it looks a lot more like an Asics running product then what we’ve typically seen from Nike in the past. I would imagine this project was designed to compete with Asics. I know they are actually considered superior to Nike in the minds of many runners, and their product has been top-of-the-line for many years. I have been even more impressed with them since reading the in-depth article on the Gel Kinsei development in SoleCollector. Just curious if anyone else sees this shoe as a possible alternative to attract their consumer?

-TH

the last few seasons, nike has styled their “Bowerman Series” to have more of that technical running look.

The Bowerman series features their most serious shoes in terms of cushioning, stability, etc.

It is interesting to see how this line has evolved visually. Personally, I am still a sucker for the Zoom series stuff. Moire, Miler, Swift, Jasari…ooo.

David

doesnt look too different from other nike running shoes, but i think i see what you are perhaps saying.

most brands (and nike to a large degree) typically have a few different “streams” of products targeted to different consumers.

i typically categorize running products into 3 categories.

advanced- totally different formal or technical solutions. usually more clean, minimal, and targeted to the consumer who is looking for something “different” and not necessarily an avid/pro runner. more use of allover mesh of synthetic construction, more unique colors, etc. crosses over to lifestyle. along the lines of the new nike zoom series (jasari, etc.), nike frees, kukini, moire, etc.

contemporary- technical runners more overlays (but somewhat simplified), technical looking shanks and cushioning systems, 3m bits, etc. panels and overlays somewhat larger/more than core shoes, and more variation in patterns of toecaps, quaters, etc. also more variation in colors and material finishes. like some shox, pegasus, max moto, etc. usually the shoes that more serious runners use (with the exception of the shox perhaps), and also by many people for training, gym, etc.

core- more basic versions of contemporary. less technical bits and plastic parts, more subdued colors, pretty standard patterns for toecaps, heel overlays etc. most patterns are based on some sort of thin overlay parts with an accent underlay to color. lots of basic colors (white/black or white/navy, or white/red, etc. includes runners like a lot of basic NBs, asics, etc. the one you picture above would likely be in this category or between core and contemporary.

below are some pics of sample from each category (pics are a few years old, but hopefully you can see the similarities/difference in/across each category.

** pics are in opposite order core-advanced (top to bottom)

*btw, these categorizations are my own way of looking at the market. different brands/designers may look at things differently and certainly some brands focus more on one type than another.

hope this helps.

R



Rich: I see what you’re saying. I dunno…for me all the extra little pieces and printed details seem like a an obvious attempt at an asics aesthetic. I could be wrong though, thats just my perception.

-TH

well yes, in a way i agree. asics have traditionally had lots of runners in the core/contemporary categories, while nike has moved into more of the advance/contemporary category. perhaps nike is just filling out their line more in the core areas to appeal to more conservative consumers to balance their other offerings.

at the same time asics is also going more “nike”. the new gel kinsei 2 or example has shox looking heel elements and more simplified upper, with larger PU parts along the lines of some of the vapor runners recently.






R
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Hi rkuchinsky and all

I’m not a designer but since 1993 I’m fitting shoes in particular running shoes, and I agree wen you say that asics is also going more “nike” with the Kinsei but also New balance with the zip series:

Usually serious runners stay away form this type of shoes (I call it “marketing animations” in Portuguese) :wink:

Even Mizuno with the new infinity wave

I see it as an attempt to reach the young urban consumer that usually it’s not attracted by these “core” athletic brands.

Respecting the initial post about nike looking a lot more like Asics aesthetically for me it’s not that evident but in small technological “gadgets” certainly YES like the “Rideliner” foam under the insole (last constuction) or the viscoelastic all brands incorporated in their shoes as cushioning (this started in the core running brands like asics fallowed by all the rest including nike)

Runner’s World Survey December 2006


What’s your favorite running-shoe brand?

  1. Asics
  2. New Balance
  3. Nike
  4. Brooks
  5. Saucony

Full article from RW

Good stuff guys. I guess I should have carified: I don’t think Nike running overall is trying to look more like Asics, just this one shoe was a little reminiscent.

-TH

Perhaps because their podiatrist advises them to as well? I’ve never seen ‘marketing animation shoes’ on the product list my podiatrist issues on an annual basis. He favours Asics and New Balance and theres always a bit of Adidas on the list. apart from the top of the range Asics Gel, I wouldn’t says theres any super expensive super showy shoes on there, no.

Runners (IME) don’t tend to care about how the product looks. It’s all about the performance. I’ve had some vile looking super performing running shoes myself. When you are worried about injuries, you tend to go with what the podiatrist says.

You’re 100% right VD23. Yes, the same people buy those Nike and the Asics you mentioned. I guess those flashy overweening details are there to convince the shoe owner (subconsciously) that the shoe has something it actually doesn’t have: a button for turbo power and other widgets. I even counted 8 different words on one of the Asics shoes: ASICS, GT-2100, IGS, GEL, DUOMAX, DUOTRUSS, AHAR+ and SpBA. Some people like it! It is also true that some people like them for their comfort only. My wife has a pair of similar Asics and she only wears them when she runs. She said: “I don’t care, there are comfortable”.