Ryan Dungey | Nike AIRMX Interview
2010 Supercross star Ryan Dungey, who finished second in his first rookie race at Anaheim 1 and won his second race in Phoenix, was the driving force behind the design and development of the new Nike AIRMX motocross boot. Dungey recently took a few minutes off from his frantic Supercross race and practice schedule to share his thoughts on new Nike motocross boots. Here is what Ryan had to say about the motocross boot project that takes Nike into the world of motocross for the first time.
Question: Ryan, what can you tell us about the Nike AIRMX boot project?
Ryan Dungey: "We started talking about it at the end of the outdoors in 08. I’d been with Nike 6.0 for a couple of years and we had always talked about making a boot, and at the end of 08 they asked if I would be willing to work on a boot with them. We met with the Design and Innovation team at Nike and looked at all the other boots out there and talked about what really is and is not needed in a boot – what works and what doesn’t. We then discussed what it would take to create the ultimate boot."
"With this information the Nike team drew up a bunch of concepts and we decided the direction to go in with each of the parts, from there the Model Shop at Nike started making samples, and it took off from there, and before I knew it I was wearing it and we started testing. With the time and technology these guys were putting into it, I knew it was going to be good."
Question: What was the goal with this boot?
Ryan Dungey: "Obviously, I wanted a lightweight boot, and one that really molds to your foot so there’s no extra work to move your foot. And I really wanted to increase the amount of feel for the bike, both on the inside of my leg and under my feet. Also I wanted one that was easy to break in the first time riding, but would also give me support. And, obviously, I wanted it to be sweet looking, and Nike is always good at that."
Question: What other thoughts and ideas did you discuss?
Ryan Dungey: "We talked about the overall shape of the boot, how I wanted a low profile boot with a great inner fit and one that would allow me to get under the shift lever easily and quickly, and an outside profile without a lot of features that hang up on the bike when I’m moving around."
Question: And how do you feel with the results so far?
Ryan Dungey: "It’s awesome to wear. The boot is definitely way lighter – the first ride was crazy, I felt like I was floating off the pegs. And it’s super comfortable, almost like I’m not wearing boots. And the feel for the bike is great, from the inner grip to the control of the shift lever and brake, and the feel for the pegs is perfect. Being comfortable on the bike allows me to go faster."
Question: So with it all said and done, do you feel you’ve accomplished your goal?
Ryan Dungey: "Absolutely, it’s a pretty amazing boot, super lightweight and easy to break in. The past year of testing and developing with Nike has been fantastic. Every session showed us a few more places to make improvements – the boot is race ready and I’m confident!"