What was Nike Green Speed?
11 July, 2012.
“The Nike GS is the lightest and fastest football boot we’ve ever made and really defines a new era in how we create, design and produce elite football boots,” said the then Global Design Director for Nike Football, Andy Caine.
And he wasn’t wrong.
The year’s 2012. That season’s finale was one to remember for all football fans in this country, full of twists and turns and moments that are still spoken about fondly today. Manchester City were crowned Premier League champions on the last day, thanks to the herculean efforts of a certain Argentine, while Chelsea stunned Europe, beating Bayern in their own stadium in a thrilling Champions League final.
The footballing world was slowly winding down ahead of the summer, but for Nike, it was their time to shine and showcase one of their most innovative football boots to date on the biggest sporting stage: the Olympics.
Known as the Nike GS or Nike Green Speed, this Mercurial-inspired silhouette represented the world’s most environmentally friendly pair of football boots as they were created using renewable and recycled materials.
With the purpose of delivering explosive speed and performance on the pitch while lowering impact on the planet, each component seen on the boots was carefully chosen to help reduce weight and waste.
How did they do this? Well, just like an informative Greenpeace ad, here’s how.
The revolutionary-looking bio-based soleplate was made primarily from castor beans, reducing the weight of the plate by 15 percent, while the sockliner construction was made entirely from castor beans. The laces, internal lining and tongue were made from a minimum of 70 percent recycled materials, while the toe board and collar featured at least 15 percent recycled materials, further helping the boot to lose weight.
The end result saw the boots weighing in at a mere 160 grams, which, at that time and still to this day, is the brand’s lightest football boot ever. Major rivals adidas had to go one better a year later, showcasing their 99gram F50 adizero concept boot, but that’s a discussion for another day.
The predominantly black upper with Nike’s iconic Volt colour seen on the toe box made the GS look just way ahead of their time, while the choice for a 20-year-old Neymar to wear them at the Olympics was an inspired selection, only helping to further enrich the boot’s profile as Nike produced just 2012 pairs. Needless to say they sold out in minutes, but fans of this future classic didn’t have to wait long as later that year Nike introduced the GS2.
Still featuring the same tech, the main difference compared to the previous GS1 was the inclusion of Nike’s application of All Conditions Control on the upper, which helped deliver enhanced ball control in both dry and wet weather conditions.
The black colourway was still ever-present, while the Volt colourway had been replaced with white instead, making these a little bit understated compared to the first Nike GS. Six of Europe’s hottest young talents were chosen to rep these on pitch with Theo Walcott, Eden Hazard, Raheem Sterling, Mario Gotze, Christian Eriksen and Mohamed El Shaarawy the main faces of the Nike GS2.
Six years on and you can’t help but think that the original Green Speed is perhaps the best-looking limited edition boot ever made by Nike. It may not have been the most comfortable of boots to wear, we know that, but the whole concept behind it and its stunning colour pallet meant these just had so much appeal.
Anyone got a pair of size 9s for sale?