The sale of yoga swag helps support what is now a six billion dollar industry. From ToeSox to yoga tops, yoga studios are stocking up on merchandise to sell to their peace-seeking supporters.
In today’s world, it is not uncommon to drop over a hundred bucks on either a set of yoga videos, one pair of yoga pants, and even a yoga mat. Companies such as Gaiam, Lululemon, and Manduka do not deny the capitalistic nature of the yoga business. They manufacture innovative and quality products just as fast as you can say “om.”
It is not just the smaller retail companies enjoying the fruits of the growing yoga tree. Big name brands are also getting in on the action. The latest innovation to hit the market is the Nike Studio Wrap. While it may sound like a sarong you might don at the beach, the Nike Studio Wrap is actually a pair of shoes.
Inspired by the need to maintain a firm base of support, beyond what a yoga mat can provide, the Nike Studio Wrap was created for women who spend hours working out in the studio.
Whether it is in yoga, Pilates, or ballet-fitness classes, women can now wrap up their feet in this stylish three-part system that involves a wrap, a ribbon, and a flat bottom surface.
Some might argue that wearing shoes during yoga would decrease the tactile senses of the feet, and would, over time, desensitize the wearer to important alignment cues and feedback in certain yoga poses. As a yoga teacher with super high arches and sometimes painful bunions, I would find wearing these shoes a relief to my tired feet after hours of standing and walking around on a hardwood floor while teaching my classes.
Every product has pros and cons. While fashion is fun to flirt with, function and comfort is key. Many people have sensitive feet, and many people would benefit from having a little extra support.
The Nike Studio Wrap is the first of its kind, and may be worth giving it a try. And guess what? Just like your Manduka yoga mat or your Lululemon yoga pants, the Nike Studio Wrap costs just over a hundred dollars. Look for a pair in the spring of 2013, when these studio shoes hit the shelves.
November 15th, 2012