Dime: The Melo M9 looks significantly different than the previous models, what exactly did you do differently in terms of design this time around?
Justin Taylor: Well, the first thing that jumps out at you when you take a look at these is the unique fit system that we built into the shoe. It’s actually called the Dynamic Fit System. It’s just a real thin synthetic reinforced with Flywire. So it’s ultra strong yet ultra light. Now, these Flywire bands actually wrap under the foot for lateral support, and it also wraps around the back for heel and ankle support. It ties into the full-length inner booty and really gives you that supreme lockdown, so it’s 360 degrees of support all the way around just from this Flywire piece.
Dime: How did you come up with the Dynamic Fit System?
JT: It’s actually pretty interesting. ‘Melo had been in town for a good amount of time during the lockout. He was actually there with a bunch of other Nike athletes and they were doing a training camp at the Nike HQ, so we got a chance to spend a lot more time up front with him than we usually do. So we were able to bring him back down to the research lab and do a full body scan as well as a full foot scan. So we had up-to-date scans of his body and his foot. The foot scan is obviously what we’re more interested in. So that gave us an idea of what we need to put around his foot in particular. We know he has a narrow foot, but having that scan really allowed us to see where we can enhance fit for him. So that’s kind of what lead to this system.
Dime: Did ‘Melo have his own input on how he wanted the shoe to fit?
JT: Well, while he was in town we had a lot of time to talk about inspiration ideas, and he said to me he wanted his shoe to feel like Iron Man’s suit. So we got the idea that he wanted the shoe to be super sleek and lightweight. We wanted it to be tight and protective but yet still super sleek. When you look at Iron Man’s suit it’s not super bulky, it’s very fit but still allows him to have fluid movement.
Dime: So that had a lot to do with the inspiration for the fit, but what about the actual visual inspiration?
JT: After talking with ‘Melo and really brainstorming ideas, one thing he told me he was really into at the time was really high-end watches, So that’s where we drew the visual inspiration from. Particularly from watches that have what you call a tourbillon movement. If you’ve ever looked at high-end watches they have a secondary piece in the face called a tourbillon. It’s a tiny piece moving separately from the watch that’s made to keep it precisely on time. Because overtime, gravity can have an effect on how the gears move on the watch, so that little piece negates the effect of gravity on it. So when thinking about the design of the shoe, I thought that was super cool, because just like the tourbillon piece would negate the effects of gravity on a watch, in a dream world this would negate the effects of gravity for ‘Melo. So that’s kind of where the visual inspiration came from.