The muse. (Tim Tomkinson)
Photo: Tim Tomkinson

A repeating inverted cube shape adopted by sporting-goods manufacturers, beginning with Nike, which used the pattern on the sole of its iconic waffle trainer. (See Bowerman, Bill) The shape was originally intended to replace common track spikes with a more efficient sole, but runners found that the springiness lent itself to all manner of terrain. In 2000, Polartec created a “symmetrical grid pattern” (the company calls it Power Grid) that’s fast-wicking, breathable, and lightweight. The material is now used by L.L.Bean, the North Face, and Patagonia.

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