nike yoga shoes: sorry dudes, already done by adidas

Nov 13, 2012 by

Nike Studio Wrap pre-assembly.

Hey ladies – have you ever arrived at your neighbourhood yoga studio and thought, I just need something between my tender tootsies and this nasty studio floor?

nike studio wrap

Nike Studio Wrap post-assembly

Nike, Inc has the answer for you: the Nike Studio Wrap, the next step in “yoga footwear.” Why would we need appropriate footwear for yoga? Nike explains:

First, uncovered feet are not always allowed in gyms and studios for hygienic purposes. Also, the bare foot can sometimes slip right in the midst of the most Zen moments. Socks slip too, and while socks with sticky grip on the bottom seem like the obvious solution, they can also scrunch up, move around and aren’t always the most flattering to walk around in.

The Portland Business Journal identified the real reason behind the new product. In the competitive yoga apparel market, lululemon maintains its tight grip on the upscale demographic. Nike’s line of yoga clothing still lags far behind, even though their pants retail for an average of $70 each instead of $100. The Nike Studio Wrap will retail for $110.

While “yoga footwear” may seem like a new and potentially lucrative niche product, Nike’s innovation isn’t actually ahead of the game. Adidas introduced a yoga shoe at least four years ago. Their product has evolved from a complicated strappy design (seen here on former ambassador Rainbeau Mars, circa 2009):

… to a more simple ballet flat:

Is the world big enough for two brands of yoga footware? Will upscale yoga consumers prefer to bind their feet in elastic straps or slip on ballet flats for the long commute from change room to studio space? Only time will tell.

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10 Comments

  1. “the long commute from change room to studio space” Ha! While more ridiculous things have caught on, I can’t help but think these are a bit ridiculous. More importantly though, I feel they will necessarily detract from essential contact with the floor. I have a hard time imagining “grounding the four corners of my feet” while locked into any of these models. Would be curious to hear feedback from people who have actually tried these.

  2. Kathleen

    Ugh. Seriously?

  3. pdxprincess

    Yoga shoes? Are you kidding me?! I can’t think of anything more ridiculous. What a waste of time and resources, Nike…and Adidas too!

    • Baba

      Ridiculous, unless you have had foot surgery and need more support and grip.

      • Foot Surgery

        Agreed, I had operations on both feet and have no strength in my toes, this will help get me back on the mat with confidence. I feel like a weak, lazy person in the classes because I can’t even hold a plank without shoes… these would help stabilize me and build the muscles necessary to work out without them…

  4. Personally, I think making shoes for yoga is like creating a bicycle for an octopus. This said, I’m up to trying something new, maybe the octopus is too! :)

  5. Suki

    As someone who LOVES yoga but suffers from palmoplantar hyperhidrosis these “yoga shoes” look awesome! I can not wait to get a pair! I hate using the hot & uncomfortable grippy yoga socks. I have to use the gloves too but they aren’t as bad….otherwise I could not practice! So please be aware of this condition just incase some goober walks into class sporting the yoga shoes…that goober just might be me!

  6. Lauren

    I’m weary of putting something on my feet because of what it could do to my form, but I’ve had enough ankle injuries that the support wrap portion could do me wonders. Maybe when it’s been out for long enough that it won’t cost me an arm and a leg, I’ll give it a try.

  7. E

    Awesome. I have psoriasis on the bottom of my feet and wound not do yoga barefoot. Love these. For the negative nellies, trust me, you want me in the shoes….we can’t all be perfect….

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