Baseball players aren't basketball players, so getting your own signature shoe is a pretty big deal. Mike Trout has one now, as Nike unveiled Friday, making the Los Angeles Angels star outfielder the first MLB star to get his own shoe from Nike since Ken Griffey Jr.
That's not bad company, when it comes to both on-the-field prowess and off-the-field style.
The shoe is dubbed the Nike Lunar Vapor Trout, which doesn't roll off the tongue like Air Jordan, nor does it look as fly as those Griffeys from the '90s. It kind of looks like a Popsicle, actually. But it's an accomplishment all the same for Trout, still all of 22 years old. (By the way, Derek Jeter had his own signature shoe through the Jordan brand, not Nike, if you're wondering why he's not included in this discussion).
In its announcement, Nike emphasized performance over looks. And that's fine, because it's not like people wear baseball cleats to the mall. From Nike's release:
Informed by Trout’s own insights, the Nike Lunar Vapor Trout is designed for the directional speed needed to steal more bases, get to more balls in the outfield, and get out of the batters box quickly. Equipped with a durable, lightweight Nike Lunarlon foam midsole for comfort, the cleat features a split Pebax speed plate for ultra-responsive movement across the field. The midsole also informs a lively aesthetic that captures the spirit of Trout’s game and Nike Vapor technology - sleek, modern, athletic, and extremely fast.
“The biggest challenge for us was balancing the performance characteristics of the shoe,” said Matthew Pauk, Nike Baseball Designer. “Just as Mike does with speed and power, we had to strike the perfect balance between lightweight and comfort, and I think we achieved that with the Nike Lunar Vapor Trout.”
If you think Nike is just trying to sell cleats, then you haven't been paying close enough attention for the past, oh, 25 years. There are also a number of accessories (batting gloves, wristbands, etc). The most eye-catching is this new Nike Baseball cap.
The cleats will be in stores on July 12, with online presales beginning Friday at Nike.com. They cost $140.
BLS H/N: The Sporting News
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