Nike designers managed to develop the innovative Nike Flyknit technology, which allows them to create sports shoes with maximum performance.
When Nike shoe designers developed Nike Flyknit technology, they focused on a key goal: to create shoes that provide maximum performance for athletes while reducing production costs. They hardly suspected that they had revolutionized the sports shoe industry.

Nevertheless, such a breakthrough was made possible thanks to a technological process taking place at the micro level, in which the upper part of the shoe is created using computer technology “knitting”, namely the combination of polyester yarn threads. This innovative process has already proved that it is able to radically change the basic principles of the industry, by reducing the amount of waste in the production of Nike Flyknit Lunar1 + by about 80% compared to conventional running shoes from Nike.
Nike Flyknit technology was born due to the desire of Nike specialists to solve a fundamental problem that shoe designers often face. How to create sports shoes that will give athletes exactly what they need, where they need it, and without making significant changes to the design?

Nike Free Flyknit

“The main thing that runners want is that nothing distracts them during the race,” said Tony Bignell, vice president Nike shoe innovation companies.
“And so, we started thinking, can we make the sneaker feel like a sock on the foot? How should we integrate the structure and support into the sock without adding extra layers? Our goal was that all the innovations introduced by our engineers were based on our fundamental principles of shoe design, which we called “multiplied nature”, where the key attention is paid to the movement of the athlete’s body when performing exercises, in order to eventually give him the opportunity to reveal natural abilities.”

The task of creating an easy, but at the same time the same time of practical sports shoes has been a cornerstone for the entire shoe industry for decades. Back in the late 1980s, Nike made an experimental release of extremely light mesh sneakers with the name Sock Racer, but they were not strong enough to be in demand among athletes. Two decades later, in 2008, Nike presented the Nike Flywire technology, which involved the use of high-strength threads of minimal weight, the principle of operation of which is similar to cables on a suspension bridge, providing point support in exactly the places where it is needed. The breakthrough of Nike Flyknit technology was due to the team innovative thinking of programmers, engineers and designers of Nike, who converted the machine for knitting sweaters and socks for the production of the upper part of running shoes.

The result of this innovative experiment was a sneaker, which in its upper part resembles an ordinary sock, but is characterized by strength and stability worthy of the best samples of sports shoes. These sneakers are excellent both in terms of purely athletic performance and in terms of practical design. In the production of Nike Free Flyknit, 35 fewer elements are used than Nike Air Pegasus + 28, which significantly reduces the amount of waste.

In March 2014, nike presented football boots made using Flyknit technology for the first time. Nike Magista had unprecedented characteristics of comfort, ball feel and foot landing reliability. 
This unique combination of performance and durability immediately made this innovative technology a leader both at Nike and among athletes from all over the world.

A new challenge for Nike is to find out what opportunities Nike Flyknit technology opens up in the production of shoes for other sports or for performing certain exercises, for example, such as sharp, intense lateral movements other than those performed when running.
Whatever secret weapons Nike engineers have in their arsenal, one thing is for sure: the computerized knitting process using Nike Flyknit technology makes it easy to adapt the design and customize the entire production process, which radically changes the entire sports shoe manufacturing industry.


Why Nike Flyknit is the most stylish and innovative sneaker production technology today
Originally designed for the treadmill, Nike sneakers made of woven yarn have acquired a second purpose as stylish sports shoes “for every day”. About how the boundaries are blurred…
Genuine leather. Mesh fabric. Plastic. Synthetics. It was from these four materials that three years ago manufacturers had to make test samples of sneakers. They really did a decent job. Many types of genuine leather were sorted out, ranging from pig to python skin. The use of synthetic composites allowed manufacturers to reduce the prices of shoes and make some models more “breathable” and flexible. But all these were just variations on the same theme. But 2012 came, and the world saw the fifth, radically new option – Nike Flyknit technology.
Flyknit is a type of yarn woven on huge knitting machines controlled by powerful computer systems capable of turning complex textural patterns into a single upper part of a sneaker. This technology was developed specifically for use in the production of sports shoes. According to the company’s official press release, Nike programmers, engineers and designers “embarked on a four-year mission of microstructural transformation of static properties into flexible materials,” which was a key aspect of the development of this technology. The work was carried out in close cooperation with marathon runners in order to meet their specific requirements for sports shoes. The result of this work was the creation of two “pilot” samples of Flyknit: the Racer and Trainer models. The use of one-piece parts meant that Nike had to transform all its years-old technologies into disposable creations. And it was truly a miracle of technology.
Positioning itself as purely sports shoes, these samples did not become in demand immediately. The debut models, nicknamed “OG Trainer” and “OG Racer” in the circle of athletes, had a very thin and light sole, which seemed too low in appearance, thereby emphasizing the unique design of the upper part. But it did not make a momentary impression on the runners. The sole wore out much faster than other sneakers of this kind, while this model was much more expensive than analogues, its minimum price was $ 150. On the shelves of sports stores turned out to be less practical and at the same time, more expensive shoes. In this scenario, the chances of its commercial success were reduced to zero

“If athletes are forced to buy new shoes after every 350-400 miles, such a price is obviously unjustified,” said Duncan Cragg, head of the product certification committee of the Texas chain of sports stores Luke’s Locker. “Our customers prefer functionality, not fashionable delights.”
However, this does not mean that this advanced development was hopeless. The Flyknit technology, actively promoted by Nike, was unique in its kind and commercially promising, but without a more durable sole, it was simply impossible to gain recognition in the sports community.
In order for the new model to be a commercial success, some kind of associative history was required. The power of the Air Jordans brand was not in the quality of the shoes themselves, at least at first. Undoubtedly, the Jordan 1 sneakers themselves were very good, but in the eyes of basketball fans they did not look more attractive than their “big brother” Dunk, and it is likely that they would soon have completely lost their relevance if not for the magic of the name of Michael Jordan.
The “finest hour” of Flyknit technology came at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Athletes wearing Nike shoes have risen to the podium in almost every competition. Before the eyes of the whole world, the heroes of summer sports appeared one after another in shoes, which at that time was something new for the general consumer. This served as a powerful advertising impulse. Michael Phelps, having won his 22nd medal, thereby becoming the most successful athlete in the history of the Olympic Games in terms of the number of medals won, climbed to the podium in sneakers made using Flyknit technology. It was a truly triumphant summer for Nike.
Nike Flyknit Multicolor Sneakers
The use of sneakers as shoes for award ceremonies had a positive effect on the popularization of the brand, associating the model with sports idols, however, such success was not a consequence of the excellent functional characteristics of the shoes. Yes, Phelps has demonstrated his Flyknits sneakers at least six times on international TV channels, but he did not win them, but only wore them as a winner. They were associated with his triumph, but not with his purely athletic capabilities. Here we are talking more about the formation of a “pop idol”, rather than a sports hero. (Curiously, the most popular Flyknit model of all time, multi-colored pairs of IOA sneakers, were provided only to four independent athletes who competed under the IOC flag. When the multi-colored Flyknit IOA went on mass sale, they immediately turned out to be the most popular model on the market.)

Nike invited sports fans to become part of the Flyknit movement by presenting the FSK Chukka model immediately after the Games, thereby celebrating the successes of American athletes. Ordinary buyers have the opportunity to wear fashionable sneakers that they have seen on Olympic pedestals. They, however, did not help their favorite athletes to achieve success in sports. At the same time, the price for a pair was and still is as much as $ 200, which is very expensive even by American standards. This model has become commercially successful in no way claiming to have improved functionality. It was pure fashion, “lifestyle”, if you like. Nike tried to introduce these sneakers into various running programs, but it seemed that at that time the main focus of the company was on selling Flyknit as a hyped “fashion trend”.
Surprisingly, the next step in the evolution of Flyknit technology as sneakers for everyday use began with shoes for a completely different sport. On the eve of 2014, the company’s marketers came up with the idea that the design of Kobe Bryant’s branded sneakers needed some rethinking. During 2012 and 2013, sales of sneakers of this model did not decrease, remaining at the level of $ 50 million, while sales of Kevin Durant’s name model increased sharply from $ 35 million to $ 145 million. (Sales of the LeBron James model, by the way, began to fall, but still reached the level of $ 300 million.) The Kobe 9 model, which Nike officially presented on December 4, 2013 at the Museum of Modern Art in Los Angeles, was a powerful breakthrough of this series. Following a string of low-top models, the Kobe 9, whose height was seven and five-eighths inches, became one of the tallest basketball sneakers ever produced. 
In addition, it was the first model of basketball shoes with a lightweight upper, made using Flyknit technology in combination with Flywire, to ensure safety in the middle part of the foot and Lunarlon shock absorption technology. (In the Kobe 9 Low model, as in the Model 8, the top was made of Engineered Mesh, a woven textile similar in texture and dynamic characteristics to Flyknit, but requiring less effort and cost in terms of production.) Eric Avar, creative director and vice president of innovation at Nike, was pleased to note that Flyknit for Kobi “acts as a second skin, giving his feet strength, similar to a spider web, creating tension and strength in exactly the places where it is needed.

” But, with the introduction of any innovative technology, there are some compromises. In the case of the “9” model, comfort had to be sacrificed for the sake of traffic safety and durability. “The difference in material between Kobe 8 and Kobe 9 Flyknit was a significant technological innovation, but I subconsciously felt that this model was not yet ready for use on basketball courts,” says Chris Chase, known by the nickname Nightwing2303 on the website , who has personally tested hundreds of basketball sneakers. “Nike should have worked hard on the structure of this model using various adhesives to eventually make them stable enough when performing movements characteristic of basketball. They heeded this advice, and this led to the fact that Flyknit has become much stronger and more stable than the one used in the manufacture of running shoes. Durability and strength have become the key difference between the Kobe 8 and 9 models. With adhesive reinforcement, Flyknit will remain intact for much longer. Although the mesh fabric in the Kobe 8 and Kobe 9 Low models initially sits much more comfortably on the foot, it is much more likely to tear with long-term wear. The “Nines” had an excellent design with a very stylish “grid”, but for me the functionality of the shoes is of priority importance. ”

The high top of basketball shoes was not an ideal solution for playing on hardwood parquet, but this did not stop adventurous “fashionistas”, since the Flyknit-based upper part was too tempting stylish “features”in order not to include them in your collection. Only the bravest and most energetic basketball players could afford to wear these unique and ultra-modern, but not very comfortable sneakers. Many of those for whom the sneakers of this model were too high managed to shorten them by cutting off part of the neck. Such a modification was a necessity until Nike finally released a variation of the Flyknit 9s with a low top.
In April 2014, Nike unveiled the Kobe 9 Elite Low model in Milan with a fanfare as part of the super-limited HTM collection. The Flyknit, Flywire and Lunarlon technologies used in the production of high “nines” have not gone away, however, the mottled and lower upper part made them much more stylish. This model was included in the list of “customizable” on NIKEiD, following a pair of HTM and the famous black-and-white “Beethoven” presented in August last year. Kobe 9 Elite Low had a long life cycle. Once again, the Nike team managed to find a compromise between the technological needs of athletes and their desire to look stylish on sports grounds.
After Kanye West, who was first seen wearing Flyknit sneakers at the London Olympics in 2012, during a joint trip with Kim Kardashian in Paris in April 2013, appeared in a black-and-white OG Trainer model, sneakers of this model became incredibly difficult to get. And to this day, this model competes in its cost only with some of the most limited series of successful athletes, and is second only to the original models of the HTM collection. Kanye was one of the first to put on Flyknit sneakers when only the riskiest “style icons” decided on it, and he undoubtedly played a crucial role in popularizing them as trendy “sports shoes”. Thus, the model gained two whole life cycles, and Nike managed to take advantage of both.
Nike HTM Free Mercurial Superfly “Volt”

The key to success among connoisseurs of fashion and style is not only to create a visually attractive model, the most important thing here is to “shoot” at the right time. Stylish novelties can lie around useless to anyone until buyers suddenly decide that this trend is really worthy of their attention and money spent. And often, they need to be convinced of this. The fact that Flyknit-based sports shoes have become a fashion trend is a great merit of Nike stylists. “With the innovative structure of knitwear and original, attractive color solutions for the masses, their design has become a ‘new word’ in the industry,” says Victor Ekblom, stylist and product manager at Très Bien in Sweden. “I think the Nike people pretty quickly realized the enormous potential of their developments outside of sports arenas and began to concentrate their resources in this direction. Everything coincided at the right moment.
Despite the fact that Nike had previously lagged behind the leading trends in sports style, Flyknit appeared just at the time when sportswear became a popular alternative to fashion, dominated by jeans and T-shirts. 2012 was marked by the emergence and “breakthrough” of several major brands of sports streetwear. Some, such as Pyrex, Hood By Air and En Noir, launched the production of wide trousers, while others, such as Publish, began to move towards “high” fashion. Alexander Wang, contrary to expectations, successfully sold sweatpants worth $ 800, which became the best option for a stylish young guy from the “working class”. As the fashion for “jeans” became more and more a thing of the past, “street stylists” began to search for new ways of self-expression. The stereotype that sportswear cannot be a sign of style collapsed almost in an instant. This was the perfect time for the Flyknit technology to enter the scene. “Now most people like to wear comfortable shoes and clothes, and at the same time stand out from others,” explains Ekblom. “And Flyknit is the perfect model in this sense.

” The same trend that brought Flyknit to the top and made streetwear fashionable led to the appearance of the Fuel Band from Nike with all the technologies built into it. The line between sports and social expression began to fade quickly. Colleagues and acquaintances have been drawn to gyms thanks to the popularity of sports selfies on Instagram and “tweets” about the benefits of fitness, and the gym has been taken to the streets thanks to the growing fashion for sportswear. If a pink fitness bracelet for $200 becomes a sign of status, and medical indicators are monitored and compared all day long, it means that all this has become fashionable. When a CrossFit class requires a Fight Club-like atmosphere, it permeates all aspects of everyday life. Flyknit gained popularity in the wake of fitness styling, becoming a great sports alternative to old-fashioned street sneakers with hoodie and straightening leather jackets to gather dust on a hanger in the closet.
When Nike presented Flyknit in 2012, success took place, but it still wasn’t what the global community of long-distance runners wanted and demanded. Over the past few years, Nike engineers have managed to combine Flyknit with other technologies. The lightness and dynamism of the soles, the technology of the Air Max support, as well as the strength of the Lunar sole made the community of runners really love these sneakers, and everyone for something different. But almost from the first day, Flyknit found its place in the minds of connoisseurs of street style. The current trend in the popularity of sports style and high-quality sportswear undoubtedly made Flyknit the optimal choice for athletes who want to look beautiful. We live in the heyday of the era of globalization, so you can wear Flyknit shoes with equal success both in the gym and on the street. And in 2015, the line between street and sports style is blurred as never before.

We had to spend several years studying the reviews of both experts and ordinary buyers. So, here is a generalized opinion about sports shoes made using Nike Flyknit technology.

9 reasons to buy them:

  • The bright color solutions of the Nike Flyknit Racer model appealed to many runners and connoisseurs of stylish sports shoes.
  • According to the majority of test participants, Flyknit fiber fits the foot like a sock, without causing any discomfort.
  • The breathable property of the fabric of their upper part was very pleasing to those athletes for whom it is important that their feet feel cool and do not sweat much while running.
  • Several athletes interviewed believe that the materials used and the design of this model made it quite comfortable and easy to run.
  • “Comfortable” is exactly the word that many runners used to describe their feelings from wearing sneakers of this model.
  • According to many of those who participated in the test, the contact with the surface of the track was “responsive” and elastic.
  • The high-quality materials used in the manufacture of these shoes make it durable and practical, as noted by many runners.
  • Some participants at the time of the tests already had experience wearing sneakers of this model, and they did not express any complaints about this.
  • Many indicated that the size corresponds to the declared one.

3 reasons not to buy them:

  • Several test participants reported that a hole had formed in the forefoot area after several months of wearing.
  • According to one athlete, the Flyknit sole platform is not very practical if the shoes are used throughout the day.
  • For several athletes, the shoes of this model turned out to be too narrow.


Most of the neutral test participants enjoyed wearing Nike Flyknit shoes, as they gave them the desired feeling of comfort, safety and style. Some even noted that they used shoes every day without experiencing any problems. However, some testers found such shoes “not on the foot”, and some even complained about the fragility of its upper part. Nevertheless, this model has gained popularity among athletes, many of whom have come to trust it.



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