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Touch your soles

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Nike Shox are the athletic fashion rage. The latest b-ball/running shoe features accordionlike, "boing, boing" springy balls bridging the double soles of the shoe. Technically, Tigger’s got a real race now: Nike’s aerospace-inspired engineers created the shoe for basketball’s Vince Carter, inspired by a vision of trampolines. The synthetic leather interior packs the foot tight as a baby’s bootie, and movement creates a kind of air conditioner inside. The impact of a stepping foot is sent through the springs, and then the energy is evenly released through the thermoplastic layer of the bottom sole. But before you run out and spend $150 on a pair, know you will be spending five times what a Nike sweatshop worker gets paid for a 45-hour week. 800 workers in the Mexican Kuk Dong factory are currently on strike protesting labor abuses such as the recent firing of 20 employees, rotten cafeteria food and extremely low wages. Choose your shoe color — silver, black, lapis or red — or, first, imagine walking in someone else’s shoes. Check out the cool new Nike Shox at www.nike.com, contact the local Green Party at 248-336-9241, or share your opinion with Phillip H. Knight, Chairman and CEO, Nike, Inc., One Bowerman Drive, Beaverton OR 97003-6433. What grabs your attention? E-mail letters@metrotimes.com

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