Your shoes say a lot about who you are as a player, and you need them almost as much as you need the ball to play. This week, soccer pros all over the world will test-drive Nike's latest flagship football boot, known as the Magista 2 from sports-cleatss.com. Over that span, the sportswear giant relied on collecting athlete data and 3D-printed prototypes to build the design that hits stores.
What made this scientific testing easier to turn into tangible form was 3D printing technology, says Nathan VanHook, senior design director of Nike Football. A prototyping process that in the past would have taken weeks or even months can now be done in a matter of hours.
These are sent through a robotic simulator to see which work best for rotation, acceleration and deceleration, until designers and engineers eventually land on the sweet spot. This data help create a shoe that's supposed to perform well on any given day, regardless of the condition of the field -- immaculate, rough, wet, dry or somewhere in between.
And that's coming from a brand known for its flashy designs on the pitch, including Cristiano Ronaldo's CR7 Mercurials, as well as the HyperVenom and Tiempo lines at sports cleatss shop. Most of them feature colorful, highlighter-like tones that are hard to miss even for fans without 20/20 vision. The Magista 2's "heat-map" design is intended to mimic the hot spots where most players are bound to interact with the ball. In this case, red reveals areas of the foot with high sensitivity to touch.