One of Nike’s most recognisable trainers has finally made a comeback! Following the resurgence of other retro looks like dad shoes and chunky trainers, Nike Shox are back to make waves once again.
Back in 2000, the very first Nike Shox R4 dropped and the world was introduced to Shox tech. Moving away from Hatfield’s Air technology that was seen sitting under loads of Nike silhouettes in the ‘90s, Shox cushioning was something totally different, but just as intriguing…
What is Shox Technology?
Taking cushioning to the extreme, in 2000 Nike revealed their latest technological feature; Shox.
Initial ideas for the tech actually started 16 years before we first saw it. Back in ’84, Nike designers and engineers added springs to the midsole of a running sneaker in attempt to add extra power to each stride. Trying to balance both cushioning and stability, the design team (which included Bruce Kilgore – the legend that created the Air Force 1) trialled a layered leaf-spring heel unit, which led to a series of experiments and ideas all based around spring-like cushioning for runners.
It wasn’t until 1997 that an idea stuck. Taking inspiration from Formula 1 cars and a little help from Air Max 95 designer Sergio Lozano, the design team came up with the concept of twin plates and foam columns. The heel platform consisted of four columns (aka. pucks), which collapse towards the centre on impact – meaning energy isn’t escaping but can be harnessed. Channelling extra power into each stride, this gave athletes a unique, spring-like effect that they could use to their advantage.
Up Close with the Nike Shox R4
The R4 was the first Nike sneaker to showcase their ground-breaking new tech – debuted at the 2000 Summer Olympic Games. Its name was simple, ‘R’ stood for Running and ‘4’ represented the four pillars.
Coming back 19 years later (yep…it’s really been that long), the legendary silhouette stays loyal to the OG. This revived sneaker sits on top of four pucks of springy cushioning just like the original, combining elite Shox tech with a lightweight, synthetic upper. Although they have roots in running, their sleek and futuristic look means that they’re as home on the streets as they are the track.