New Nike Innovation Introducing Flyknit Technology
Releasing just in time for the Olympics are Nike’s new Flyknit sneakers
During the Nike Olympic Innovation Summit in New York, Nike Inc. chief executive officer Mark Parker expects the sneaker to unleash “a paradigm shift in footwear manufacturing.” Announced as one of the most significant innovations of the year, Nike believes the technology encompassing the Flyknit sneaker represents a revolution.
“It’s smart, fast, beautiful and sustainable,” Parker said during the summit Tuesday. The featherweight, seamless shoe is also the most eco-friendly produced by the brand to date. The most innovative quality is thet the upper is comprised of merely one piece of woven polyester.
Martin Lotti, Nike’s global creative director Olympics, told WWD. “I’ve designed many, many shoes, and if you compare traditional shoemaking to this, it’s completely different. This is completely automated and you can design down to the smallest millimeter for breathability — whereas as before it was crude and rudimentary. Now it’s one single surface.”
Lotti went on to describe the upper of the shoe, adding that it feels like an “engineered surface” made of multiple strands of woven polyester on a “printer”-like machine. The end result gives a look of a textured, woven sweater — in shocking neon or blue — but fits the wearer’s foot like a second skin.
The Nikeknit technology includes a Flyknit Racer — a 5.6-ounce high performance shoe designed for a marathon runner — and the Flyknit Trainer+, a version of the above that’s been modified for the everyday athlete in a slightly heavier 7.6-ounce sneaker. Both will go on sale in July, but a limited edition HTM Flyknit collection of three sneakers will be released today at the Nike Sportswear store on Mercer Street. The latest in a decade-long collaboration between Parker, Hiroshi Fujiwara and Tinker Hatfield, the three shoes include the HTM Racer, identical in function to the Flyknit Racer, and two versions of the HTM Trainer+ (one features the Lunarlon midsole) that will retail from $160 to $175.