Oscar Pistorius, better known as the “Blade Runner”, is all set to compete in the London 2012 Paralympics though this time around the double-amputee sprinter will have some extra help keeping a firm grip on the track. So far, the South African sprinter had been using regular single-use track spikes which he had to tape or glue to his blades. The gruesome process took more than two hours before the sprinter needed to be on the track. But now, thanks to the Nike Spike Pad, Pistorius and other amputee sprinters can adhere spikes to their blades using contact cement in just half an hour.
The design was created by the Nike innovation team who reviewed videos of Pistorius running on a treadmill to pin point impact spots during strides. The team then determined the right positions for spike receptacles on the blades. The resultant design ensured consistent performance and correct traction.
The Nike Spike Pad is made of thermoplastic polyurethane coated carbon fiber. The two-piece midsole pad is made of foams of different densities with the harder foam at the front making take offs more effective while the softer foam at the back cushions foot landing. Pistorius has been training with the Nike Spike Pad for the past six months though his rival Jerome Singleton will also come geared with the innovative spikes and the duo will compete on the tracks next week.