Twenty-four-year-old Mike Trout was just a kid when Ken Griffey Jr. and Derek Jeter were in their primes, shaping Major League Baseball. But today, Trout’s ruling the game.
As he continues to evolve as a player, he needs a cleat that evolves with him.
The Nike Lunar Trout 2, the second iteration of the shoe, offers a more refined and advanced version of the Nike Lunar Vapor Trout, which debuted in 2014.
“We like to call it an evolution of the one,” Nike Baseball Product Line Manager Cam Shick said in an interview at the Los Angeles launch of the shoe. “A lot of [the shoe] came from Mike’s love of the one. We felt really good about it, but Mike gave us feedback about how well it performed, and I think hearing consumer feedback about how well it performed for the kids helped, too. We definitely didn’t want to change a ton, but we still wanted to push the limits and push the game into the future.”
When there’s mention of the future of baseball, Trout is often the focal point of the conversation. Since entering the league in 2011 at age 19, he boasts a .300 plus batting average, has smacked 139 career home runs, and is a constant Triple Crown threat.
Speed and agility are two of the most important aspects of the 2014 American League MVP’s game, so Shick and Nike designer Ken Link designed the new shoe with that in mind.
“The biggest thing was weight and fit,” Shick said. “We got rid of the synthetic leather in the forefoot, and you see and feel how much more pliable it is. It’s lighter when you get rid of the layers.”
After eliminating layers on the upper, the designers utilized NikeSkin technology on the forefoot which binds with a specially engineered mesh to create a durable, yet flexible and lightweight feel.
Similar to the Lunar Vapor Trout, the new iteration is equipped with Flywire technology. This feature strengthens the entire shoe by linking the laces to the nine-stud cleat plate and allows the cleat to mold to the foot for pliable, cradle-like support. Still, all of the performance tech in the world doesn’t matter to Trout (who said he prefers Nike Roshe Ones off the field) if the shoe isn’t comfortable.
“I like being able to go out there and feel like I have nothing on my feet,” Trout said. “You have to be comfortable. Obviously, you can’t go out there just wearing a sock. You need that cushion.”
That’s where the Lunarlon foam comes in. Shick laid a layer of Lunarlon foam in the midsole for springy, plush comfort that creates an ultra-responsive feeling on the field.
“The design intent is for the Lunar wedge aesthetic to flow into the synthetic piece,” Shick said. “That was the effect we had in the ones, and [we took] it even farther into the upper for the second.”
Combine that with the interior ankle boot—an inner sleeve made of four-way stretch mesh that conforms around the foot for comfort and support—and you get an extremely light and natural feel.
“[Trout] really likes this sock-like fit around his ankle,” Shick said. “So going with the non-traditional tongue here gets you that.”
In addition to the cleat, Nike is also launching the Lunar Trout 2 Turf, Trout’s first turf training shoe. The Lunar Trout 2 cleat will be available mid-October in stores and online at DICKS.com.