NIKE ZESTI (BEACH VOLLEYBALL)
May 14, 2013
We couldn’t re-zesti showing off this little Olympic curiosity. If you’ve been scratching your head trying to work out what it’s for, go down the beach, get your smalls on and dive about a bit… it’s Nike’s take on a shoe for the beach volleyball crew. If performance in a sock seems incongruous, consider this… the upper is like a protective second skin made from seamlessly welded fabric that keeps annoying sand out of your toots. Cleats in the sole should give players just enough grip, as well as protecting feet from frying in the Shanghai sun. You can’t see it side-on, but the Zesti also features a split toe for balance, confirming the Air Rift kinda vibe to this mustardy sock. Til we get to strap it on, we’re not convinced it’s actually wearable in the street, but if you did, you’d potentially snap a billion necks! Zesti is greek for sun by the way…
Beach volleyball players have a natural preference for playing barefoot because going shoeless allows them to move more freely in the sand. When asked if they would ever wear footwear, the athletes who Nike works with said they would consider lacing up for conditions that can detract from their focus, like in venues where the sand is extremely hot, cold, or coarse. The Nike Zesti (Zesti meaning “Sun” in Greek) beach volleyball sock was created for Beijing to address these obstacles, utilizing the opportunity to add performance innovations that will also help players get to the ball faster.
Made from a tightly knit seamless fabric that fits like a protective second skin, the Nike Zesti is feather-light, breathable and impenetrable to sand. Molded blown rubber cleats on the outsole provide another layer of protection, while giving athletes additional traction in deep sand. Thin Bemis weld lateral ribs (the same used for Nike’s No-Sew apparel seams) support the feet and keep the cleats securely under foot during critical cuts and dives. The sleek silhouette of the Nike Zesti also serves a second purpose: by upholding performance integrity and minimalist design, the innovative footwear complements the “less-is-more” aesthetic of beach volleyball attire.
Unique colorways of the Nike Zesti were designed for 12 beach volleyball teams including USA, China, Germany, Italy, Georgia, Switzerland, Ukraine, Estonia, Canada, Bulgaria, Norway and Portugal. The challenge was creating one color combination per country to match all three uniform options available to the players. As a result, when athletes hit the sand in Beijing this summer, the myriad of apparel and footwear combinations will be as dynamic as their play.