Nike, the famous footwear and apparel manufacturer of all things sporty, has already designed a specialized sole for prosthetic running blades earlier this year. Nike appears to be doing it again, this time in the London Olympics. Nike was able to successfully outfit Ossür’s Flex-Foot Cheetah legs, the J-shaped carbon fiber prostheses that fits the feet and calves, but with track spikes. But Nike said that the process wasn’t a walk in the park. Apparently a design problem has to be solved first. Since Össur’s Flex-Foot Cheetah legs are made from smooth carbon, affixing the track spikes requires a lot of brute force and strong fixatives.
Thankfully, Nike designer Tobie Hatfield was able to develop a newer, better Cheetah spike called the Nike Spike Pad. “We were certainly able to take the learnings of spikes on shoes for 22 years, but obviously the difference is that we’re affixing it to a more immovable object, the carbon fiber blade,” said Hatfiel. Nike’s specialized Cheetah spike was worn by the South African sprint runner Oscar Pistorius, a.k.a. Blade Runner and also considered as the fastest man on no legs. The 25-year-old Pistorius, whose legs were amputated when he was a baby, made it to the semi-finals for the 400m in the London Olympics.