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Nike Taps Zotefoams to Develop Foam Technologies

Nike entered a strategic partnership with U.K. cellular material technology firm Zotefoams to develop and manufacture foam innovations specifically for the high-performance athletic footwear market.

In a press release, Zotefoam said its foams for footwear can be formulated to specific customer needs and are superior in performance, consistency, quality and purity to foams produced by other methods. The company names Puma and Mizuno as current footwear clients.

The company, which uses a manufacturing process with environmentally friendly nitrogen expansion, currently produces and sells Evazote, a range EVA foams that deliver rebound and comfort for athletic and orthotic insoles, and Zotez Peba, a foam with low density that allows the design of lighter parts.

Nike remains a leader in introducing new materials to the performance footwear market. This month the company bows the Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4%, a shoe developed with a full-length carbon-fiber plate that acts as a springboard. The shoe reportedly makes runners faster.

Meanwhile, Nike has had a successful run with products made with its 2014 innovation, Lunarlon cushioning. The foam is 30 percent lighter than traditional Phylon and allows the force of impact to be more evenly distributed, which helps alleviates painful pressure points on feet.