What is it?
This is not so much a product as news of a new technology that Nike will be launching this summer. Nike Flyknit is the upper construction that will feature on a selection of their summer-release running shoes (including LunarGlide+ 4) out from July onwards.
It’s essentially a unique one-piece upper with a knit construction made from polyester yarns.
The idea of this is that the knit will give (in no particular order):
- more breathability
- a snugger, better, more personalised fit
- less rubbing and pinching
- significantly less weight
- the chance for more varied and innovative colourways.
In case you’re wondering ‘if there are no overlays or other elements grafted on top, where are the support features such as heel counters and arch locks going to come from?’, the answer is that Nike use the yarn itself to provide these.
So, for example if you want to provide a stronger, stiffer support structure on the medial (inside) part of the arch area, a thick yarn and more of it will be used in the area. And the same round the back with the heel counters and on the top of the shoe to protect the toes and so forth. Clever huh?
And as for the opportunities for colourway innovation, well while Nike are sticking with standard designs for now, the chance to use differently coloured strands of thread woven together in different patterns offers almost limitless possibilities down the line.
I managed to distract one of the Nike security heavies long enough to slip a pair of these shoes on my feet and jog up and down and it felt, well, extremely impressive. Like running in a supportive slipper. But of course I’ll have a better and fuller opinion for you when I get the chance to test them in a month or two.
The idea of an entire shoe upper constructed from a single piece with maximum support for minimum weight is a pretty exciting development, so keep an eye on this throughout the summer.
Read more about Nike+ Flyknit.