Although it’s frequently regarded as one of Nike’s most famous innovations, the Nike Shox has taken somewhat of a backseat in recent years. Often overlooked in place of Air cushioning – and in more recent times REACT tooling – the springy columned tech returns this season as Nike revive the Shox R4 and Shox TL silhouettes. We’ll dissect these shortly, but first, a look back at the birth of this pioneering technology.
Designer Bruce Kilgore – who is perhaps most well-known for being the creative behind the Air Force 1 – developed Shox technology in 1984, three years before the birth of the first Air Max. It wasn’t until 1997 that the tried-and-tested combination of highly resilient PU foam columns, sandwiched between two solid TPU plates, was achieved.
For those who don’t know how the technology works, the exposed spring-like pillars absorb the shock of the wearer’s heel striking the ground, returning the energy straight back into the next stride. Working together in union, the solid TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) plates act as stabilisers, distributing the energy evenly across the foot.
16 years in the making, Shox was finally unveiled to the world in 2000, with one of their first designs being the iconic R4. Remaining true to their OG release, the spring-cushioned Nike Shox R4 makes a welcome return to size? this season. Still boasting the same unmistakable space-age aesthetic as they did at the turn of the millennium, the bouncing pair arrive with a thick bulky style and the four ‘puck’ column midsole.
Arriving in two of their OG colour palettes, the silhouettes utilise a streamlined, fully synthetic upper up top. Complementing shades of metallic silver and black decorate the first of the two, accented with hints of red to the signature Shox tongue branding. The second pair boast a similar aesthetic, instead opting for accents of white throughout the upper. Both feature all-over 3M detailing – keeping you visible when on the move in low-light.
But the resurrection doesn’t stop there. Nike is also reviving its coveted Shox TL silhouette for the first time since its 2003 launch. Aggressive in its aesthetic, the Shox TL boasts an intricate, full-length Shox sole unit – delivering a striking design that could easily be mistaken for the Air VaporMax’s distant cousin. A combination of breathable mesh and nylon panels make up the upper, locked into place by a TPU cage to keep your foot stable and secure.
The Nike Shox R4 and TL will be available via the size? previews app and in selected size? stores on Wednesday 20st March and Thursday 21st March respectively, priced from £130-£150