The Nike Elite Waffle (Elite for short) joined the Waffle family that Nike had established with the introductions of the Waffle Racer, the Waffle Trainer, the LD 1000, and the LD Vector. While the Elite proved its mettle on the roads, its Waffle traction made it an excellent choice for cross country as well, and was my choice for natural surfaces during my final collegiate Cross Country season. The upper was a slip lasted nylon with suede overlays at heel and toe, open over the toes to minimize irritation while running and racing. The midsole was sheet cut Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA for short), which did an improved job of resisting compression, compared to the foamed rubber which preceded its introduction. The outersole was Nike’s innovative Waffle sole, a poured carbon rubber sole cemented to the lowest layer of the midsole, it also featured some rearranged waffles to better preserve the wear in the heel. The performance was versatile, as Bill Bowerman expected when he ruined his wife’s waffle iron experimenting on a solution, and prompted the search by other brands for comparable geometric shapes for outersoles.
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