Nike Air Max 1 Ultra Flyknit History
Almost three decades from the year Nike dropped a NASA-inspired sneaker, the brand once again astonished the world when it released the most featherweight version in the entire Air Max line. It was in July 2016 when this giant footwear brand made public its groundbreaking Air Max 1 Ultra Flyknit. It is likewise the first Flyknit style ever made to an Air Max.
This revamped version of the original Nike Air Max 1 carries a rich legacy, which all started with Nike’s quest in coming up with the most advanced cushioning system for performance footwear. It was in 1987 when the combined ingenious concepts of aeronautic engineer Franklin Rudy and Nike’s stalwart creative innovator Tinker Hatfield gave birth to the Air Max 1, a running shoe with a visible cushioning unit on its midsole. It remains as one of the most celebrated silhouettes until today, known for its distinct University Red/White colorway.
In its continuous pursuit to produce the most lightweight and breathable version of the Air Max 1, Nike modernized and retooled the OG upper by incorporating Acespan mesh, which allowed more ventilation within the shoe. This was a year after the futuristic Flywire tech was introduced by Nike and landed into the walls of the Air Maxim 1, released in 2009, to create the needed flexibility and support.
The Flywire concept is made up of the same Vectran material used for outer space clothing and the filaments are placed in strategic points in the upper for the needed support and the lockdown fit. This same modernized technology was used in the construction of the Air Max 1 Ultra Flyknit.
The Maxim 1 also had a spongy midsole made of three-piece injected durable Phylon, which was one of the references used by Nike when it created the Ultra technology for the 2016 version of the Air Max 1.
In 2013, Nike dropped two editions of the Air Max 1. The EM version, which stands for engineered mesh, had a full mesh component on the upper with the inclusion of the iconic suede overlays, resembling the original design. This sleek looking sneaker, nearly resembling the Ultra Flyknit, is very breathable and comfortable.
In its attempt to further reduce a fraction of weight from the previous edition, Nike dropped an upgraded iteration of the Air Max 1 in 2014, called the Air Max Lunar 1. Inspired by how spacemen bounce on the moon, this variation delivers the exceptional Lunarlon cushioning.
This springlike midsole is 30% lighter than the Phylon material used in Air Maxim 1. Together with the Air Sole unit, this sneaker is one of the incredibly comfortable editions in the Air Max folio.
Two more shoes were released in 2015 before the Ultra Flyknit model was unveiled in the succeeding year. The Nike Air Max 1 Ultra Moire weighed even lesser than its successor with the use of a singular piece of lightweight synthetic suede for the construction of its cover, which is punctured by laser to allow air flow within the shoe. Nike used the Ultra tooling technique with the sole, carving out portions of the durable foam while holding on to its stability and flexibility. The upper was further simplified in the Air Max 1 Ultra Essential that used a one-piece synthetic material.
Nike’s Flyknit technology, a precisely engineered fabric and yarn modification that forms into a seamless and superbly lightweight upper, paired with its iconic Air Sole cushioning unit brought forth in July 2016 the most lightweight Air Max ever made during that time, the Air Max 1 Ultra Flyknit.