Nike launched the new flyknit shoe after four years of research and design, which yielded new machines for a fabrication technique that never existed before.

The Flyknit Racer will be worn at the Olympics by marathon racers from the United States, Kenya, Russia, and the U.K. Nike is also releasing a limited edition run of the line called HTM Flyknit, a collaboration between influential stylist Hiroshi Fujiwara, Nike Vice President of Creative Design Tinker Hatfield, and Nike CEO Parker that provides a streetwear-friendly application of the technology. The three-shoe line will be sold for a few weeks in New York City, Tokyo, and London.

Nike Flyknit will make its big splash in the Olympics. Four years in the making, Flyknit is the product of an entirely new shoe-making process that can produce a single, lightweight knit upper (tongue included). The resulting intricate patchwork of yarn, cables, and fabric boasts a heretofore unseen look and feel.

 

 

Flyknit was powered by athletes’ input, says Tony Bignell, director of footwear innovation at Nike’s Innovation Kitchen. And what they wanted, head-scratchingly enough, was a sock.

“A sock fits great, feels snug, goes unnoticed, and you get no irritation,” Bignell explains.“So the idea was, how do you engineer a sock into a high-performance shoe?”

A simple enough conceit, but one that proved harder to execute. “We had no interest in just creating a shoe that looked knit,” says Ben Shaffer, studio director for Nike Innovation Kitchen. “This is where we found our first biggest challenge: There was no technology in the world available to do this for footwear.” The intricacies of the work–building static structures and support into a dynamic knit–demanded entirely new machinery and software, Shaffer tells Co.Design. “We were challenging a fundamental way of making shoes.”

 

 

 

The warp and weft of the shoe’s texturized knit also opens up the possibility for some interesting color combinations. “You have to almost think three dimensionally about the colors,” says Mark Parker, Nike Inc. CEO and designer.

The Flyknit Racer will be worn at the Olympics by marathon racers from the United States, Kenya, Russia, and the U.K. Nike is also releasing a limited edition run of the line called HTM Flyknit, a collaboration between influential stylist Hiroshi Fujiwara, Nike Vice President of Creative Design Tinker Hatfield, and Nike CEO Parker that provides a streetwear-friendly application of the technology. The three-shoe line will be sold for a few weeks in New York City, Tokyo, and London.

Source: Co.Design

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