Over the last decade, the running sneaker industry has become very
profitable. The demand for a top quality running sneaker has grown in quite large
numbers. Therefor leaving competitors in this industry with no choice, but to
constantly improve their product. Within this literature, I wish to explain three of the
major differences, between two of the best running sneakers on the market.
Two running sneakers that have been noticed for their outstanding quality are,
the Air Max “95”, made by Nike, and the DMX Fusion Lite, made by Reebok. They
are bolth excellent, high quality running sneakers, but they have many differences.
They bolth have taken different approaches to their cushioning systems. Their
outsoles, or bottom part of the sneaker, also have drastic differences. The same also
applies, for the upper part of the sneakers.
The cushioning system in the Air Max “95” is an excellent and unique way of
providing comfort and support. You would think that, because of its name, there
would be air in the sneaker. This statement is entirely untrue. The Air Max system
uses three separate pockets of a compressed, lightweight gas. They use this gas,
which is even lighter than helium, to reduce the weight of the sneaker. Each pocket
of gas is strategically positioned, and they each have separate P.S.I. (Pounds per
Square Inch). The first pocket is all the way in the rear of the sneaker. This pocket
is known as the crash pad. It is the smallest pocket and is made to absorb the force
of impact as you run or walk. The P.S.I. in this pocket is only fifteen. The second
pad is right after the first on and goes up to the middle of the sneaker. They have
made this pocket more stable and gave it a P.S.I. of twenty-five. The final pad
covers the entire front half of the foot. This pad is designed for comfort, and spring.
This pocket receives a happy medium P.S.I. of 20.
The Reebok DMX Fusion Lite Is similar to the Air Max “95”, but has very
noticeable differences. They call this sneaker the fusion because it combines two of
Reeboks most popular cushioning systems. One system is called the 3D Ultra Lite.
They created this 3D Ultra Lite cushioning system by, taking the more conventional
material for cushioning, called ethylvynalacitate, (that is the more commonly found
white soft material between your foot and the floor in your sneaker and more
commonly known as EVA.) and injecting gas into it. This makes the EVA. lighter
and softer. Then, they combine it with their DMX system. The DMX system, like
the Air Max system, uses a light weight gas. The difference is that Reebok has
designed a system that combines ten chambers of gas. All of these chambers are
connected, and the travels throughout the bottom of the sneaker while you walk or
run. I am unsure of the exact amount of gas pressure in the DMX system, but you
can be sure that, for the gas to travel back and forth throughout the bottom so easily,
that it is very low. Combining these two cushioning systems, has put Reebok back
on the map, for providing excellent running sneakers.
Another big difference between these sneakers, are their outsoles, or very
bottoms. Nike uses a very common rubber called, carbon rubber. This rubber is also
known as regrind. It is called regrind, because it is nothing more than a number of
other rubbers, grinded up and melted together. In other words it is scrap rubber.
This rubber, is the is the black rubber you will find on the bottom of most common
sneakers. It is also the rubber that leaves black marks, on nice floors. Although it is
regrind, this rubber is very tough. It is also, very durable, and will last a lot longer,
then most specialty rubbers used on other sneakers.
Reebok, obviously, has a different utsole. Reebok has actually taken a bold
step, and not put any rubber on the outsole of the Fusion. Instead Reebok has
rounded off their 3D Ultra Lite cushioning system, around each chamber of gas. The
outsole of the sneaker actually mimics the DMX cushioning system. In other words,
they have left the 3D Ultra Lite bottom, and where each chamber of air sits in the
sneaker, the bottom of the sneaker is pushed out. Not having any rubber on the
bottom of the sneaker will definitely cut down on the life of the sneaker. The reason
they do this is to make the sneaker a mere 7.6 ounces light. The design also does an
excellent job absorbing shock from impact. Leaving this sneaker very soft and
comfortable to where. Reebok’s innovative idea for this sneaker is unique and quite
The upper part of the sneaker, is anything and everything, above where your
foot rests. There are two options of material for the Air Max “95”. One option is
nubuck, and the other is leather. Bolth options are very tough and durable. For either
option, the design is the same. Nike takes four separate strips of material, and
overlaps each strip. Nike then sows the strips together, double stitching, even triple
stitching in vounerable areas. This design has made the Air Max “95”, a durable
Reebok, on the other hand, has taken a different approach. So far they have
produced the Fusion with only one type of upper material. This material is a
lightweight, breathable mesh. Reebok does not overlap layers of material, instead
they use one single piece of material. this piece of material, which is sown on,
covers the entire upper part of the sneaker. Although having one piece of material
sown on is less durable, it makes the sneaker more breathable, and lightweight.
Bolth the Air Max “95”, and the DMX Fusion Lite, have done an excellent job,
meeting the demands of society , for a great running sneaker. Reebok, takes more of
a lightweight, breathable approach, while Nike attempts to make their sneaker long
lasting, and more durable. Either way, bolth of the sneakers provide excellent
cushioning, and support, for professional athletes.