February 2012

Nike, Össur collaborate on running sole for Reinertsen, other amputee athletes

Beaverton, OR-based running shoe giant Nike has introduced the Nike Sole, which uses state-of-the art design to create a lightweight, durable composite sole that interfaces easily with Össur’s Flex-Run prosthetic blade for amputee athletes.

Nike designed the new Nike Sole in conjunction with Foothill Ranch, CA-based Össur Americas, and elite triathlete and above-the-knee amputee Sarah Reinertsen.

Reinertsen, an athlete-spokesperson for the company as part of Team Össur from Orange County, CA, was born with proximal femoral focal deficiency, which led to amputation at age seven. At age 13 she broke the 100-m world record for female above-the-knee amputees. She is also the first female above-the knee amputee to compete in the Ironman Triathlon World Championship in Kona, HW, and holds world records in the marathon and half-marathon for women with above-the-knee amputations.

The  Nike  Sole  is  an  integrated layered sole. An outsole and midsole are topped by a layer of thermal plastic urethane called Aeroply, which is made of recycled Nike Air Bag units and serves as a moderator between the Nike Sole  and the  Össur Flex-Run’s carbon fiber  blade. Nine nylon plastic tabs serve as fingers that wrap snugly around the Flex-Run carbon fiber blade for secure lock down and easy on-off. A stretch rubber leash with a tactile grip tab for easy placement over medallion fasteners provides additional security.

Reinertsen tested the proto­type and worked closely with Nike’s designers so they could tweak the design based on her feedback.

Today she competes in marathons and triathlons using the Flex-Run and Nike Sole, which are available through prosthetists’ offices around the world.

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