Located in Fountainebleau, France – a stone's throw from Paris – architects joly & loiret recently shaped an elegant equestrian arena to gently blend into the surrounding earth. The entrance winds through the exhibitor's zone and horse rest area, leading up to a grand wooden stairway with rooftop promenade. While the edges of the site are loosely defined by a series of riding trails with intersecting bridges and pedestrian paths. Every angle and surface has been molded and morphed into the existing topography of the suburban landscape, effectively shifting the visual impact from the man-made to the equine.
These boots made their appearance well before the start of Jumpset, but I have to create more buzz in the hopes that Nike will actually make them available. I'm not an equestrian, yet, but I could definitely see myself kicking around in these boots. I mean, who can forget that fabulous Madonna + Steven Klein feature in W Magazine?
In a sport that's steeped in traditional English riding heritage, Nike designers sought to bring new innovation to the Olympic riders at Beijing. After consulting with athletes and several rounds of prototypes, the final creation was the Nike Ippeas (Greek for "rider"). The result is a sleek leather and synthetic boot that provides protection, support, traction and horse control that also reduces weight by eliminating the need for strap-on spurs. The design innovations are numerous, including rubber pads for the outsoles of the boots to improve stirrup traction, an adjustable titanium screw-in spur system (inspired by track spikes) and a full-length engineered zipper for easy on-and-off. It also utilizes Nike Air Zoom technology across the length of the insole. Perhaps the most revolutionary development is 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 jumps. A perfect pairing of form and function.