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Nike Flyknit Shoes

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Nike's Flyknit Technology

With computer-controlled weaving in the upper, a feather-light build, and a skin-like fit, Nike's Flyknit technology can help advance your running performance.

Running is a complex, challenging competition between you and your terrain. Your fitness level, running motion, and choice of clothing and shoes influence your performance. That's why its important to make sure the choices you make are the right ones. Combining a unique, sock-like feel and an unbelievably lightweight build, Nike Flyknit technology can help advance your running performance.

Nike, always looking for the next high-performance athletic innovation, began working on the concept of Flyknit technology five years before its debut. Inspired by common runner feedback desiring a shoe with sock-like fitting qualities, Nike began experimenting with different minimalist, or barefoot, running shoe ideas. The first prototype began with a sock attached to a foam bottom. When Nike's CEO, Mark Parker, visited Nike's "innovation kitchen", he happened to notice it. "I was going to look at some other things." Parker said. "It was sort of like, what's this? So, we got into it and I was like, 'wow, this has huge potential.'" Beginning as an unusual, forward-thinking idea, Flyknit would soon evolve into a revolutionary manufacturing process and athletic product. With Parker's support, Nike's designers began creating a shoe that replicated a sock, but to do so they had to replicate the way a sock is made.

Thinking outside of the box, Nike started by examining how and why a shoe was made the way it was. Intrigued by a knitting machine used to make socks and sweaters, Nike hired computer programmers and engineers to reengineer a computer-operated knitting machine so that it would weave the upper part of a shoe together. Once this revolutionary software was completed, polyester yarn was inserted into the 15-foot-long knitting machine to weave the top of the shoe together. Knitted into the weave around the midfoot, tiny synthetic cables were added for foot support. Nike's micro-level precision engineering program instructed the knitting machine to alter the shoe's stability, support, and look. With instant adding ability, Lycra®-infused threads and multiple layers of yarn of varying thickness were added to strengthen the durability of the shoe. The result: every element of the shoe served a specific purpose. When asked about Nike's micro-level precision engineering, Charlie Denson, president of the Nike brand, called the process "a complete game-changer."

Showcasing Nike's computer-controlled weaving possibilities, Flyknit technology revolutionizes running. Targeted towards the minimalist running movement, Nike's Flyknit technology has resulted in some of the lightest, best fitting running shoes. Precisely engineered and featuring only the essentials, Flyknit offers a virtually seamless, featherweight, and formfitting upper. The smooth design provides a "second-skin" feel for a soft and secure fit, and by reducing unnecessary stitching and overlays, Flyknit can help you reach your fastest speed.

Creating a "second-skin" fit, the single-threaded upper provides a nearly unnoticeable feel, while the seamless design delivers a soft, smooth, and comfortable running experience. Connected to the laces, strategically placed cables wrap your foot, creating a customized form fit. As you loosen or tighten the laces, the cables respond, altering the upper fabric's tightness and creating a personalized "second-skin" feel. With a precise fit, the Flyknit seemingly becomes part of your foot, encouraging you to run and perform better.

With Flyknit, Nike's micro-level precision engineering technology eliminates excess materials, greatly reducing the weight of the shoe. Less weight equals more speed. The featherweight build frees your feet, helping you reach new personal bests. With less fabric, the upper also increases airflow, keeping your feet cool and dry.

"If you think about shoemaking, it hasn't changed for decades," Parker says. With traditional shoemaking, machines cut pieces of fabric that workers then stitch together. Referring to the Flyknit technology, Parker says, "there is no more cutting and stitching with this." By eliminating multiple materials and not requiring multiple cuts, the Flyknit's one-piece upper reduces waste. The manufacturing process for one pair of Flyknits cuts waste down to only as much as one sheet of paper. Compared to typical Nike running shoes, the Nike Flyknit Lunar 1+ reduced waste by 80% on average. Not only does Nike Flyknit technology help your running performance, it also helps the environment.

Forming a relationship with your foot, your running shoes impact your performance. With their proprietary micro-level precision engineering technology, Nike has created the Flyknit upper, a single-threaded, lightweight knit fabric that reduces materials, weight, and waste. With its feather-like build and "skin-like" fit, Nike's Flyknit can help advance your athletic performance. Nike has since incorporated their Flyknit technology into their basketball and casual shoes, as well.