The new Nike Ippeas riding boot.

April 17, 2008

Nike has unveiled a new riding boot as part of its new range of sports footwear to cover every event at the Beijing Olympics.

The boot, with a screw-in removable spur, is called the Ippeas, which is Greek for "rider".

Nike points out that equestrian footwear has changed little over the past 100 years.

"The sport is steeped in traditional English heritage where leather boots, wood soles and hard-pressed leather outsoles have been standard issue for horseback riding since the 1800s," a company spokesman said.

Nike wanted to introduce innovations while still respecting the history of the sport.

Nike said it listened to insights and ideas of top equestrian athletes and developed several rounds of prototypes before the final creation (pictured).

The Ippeas is made of leather and synthetic material. Weight has been reduced by removing the need for strap-on spurs.

Innovations include rubber pads for the outsoles of the boots to improve stirrup traction, an adjustable titanium screw-in spur system and a full-length engineered zipper to make the boot easy to take on and off.

Nike says the most revolutionary development is perhaps the most subtle: a thin, high-abrasion synthetic rubber material on the medial side of the boot that delivers improved grip on the horse and saddle, which gives the rider better communication with the animal and increased stability during demanding jumps.

The boot maintains the classic riding-boot silhouette and includes air cushioning around the underfoot.