While I'm not exactly a member of the sporting elite, I do 'like' to strap myself into a pair of fast looking trainers and jog around the park in a vain attempt to hold back the inevitable spread of looming middle age. In the wrong hands, trainers can be truly, insanely horrible pieces of design. Or much worse, generic dad pumps. In the right hands, they can be lusted over and fetishised. Blood has been spilt for the most desirable ones, gigantic books of the best have been compiled.
I'm no collector and I'm certainly no expert, but I have special admiration for the game changers. The pairs that bring new technologies and years of research to what will inevitably become everyday items, available of every high street.
A few years back, I was fortunate enough to have a scope around Nike HQ in Oregon and one spot, supremely out of bounds I might add, captured my imagination. It was the Nike Sport Research Lab. I imagined floatation tanks and pressure chambers. Artificially intelligent androids putting fabrics through the stresses of outer space, athletes hooked up to tubes and wires in the pursuit of shaving 0.01 second off their personal best.
This is the place where the innovation that you'll soon be taking for granted begins. Where ideas like the 'Spark Suit,' clothing that can take energy created by the wearer to generate electricity, are realised. It can't be too far into the future when charge sockets are as common as washing instructions in our garms.
Now as I'm neither a clothing designer and as we've already established, an Olympic gold medal hopeful, the things they get up too in 'The Kitchen' inspired me to compile a playlist. Music for machines, for humans testing their limits. It's also pretty great for soundtracking a lap of your local park...
Check out my Nike Sport Research Lab playlist HERE