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Ever since sneakers existed, different sneaker brands have continued to make groundbreaking developments. The process of making footwear became more complicated, a wide variety of materials that can be used to manufacture a shoe have been discovered, and a lot of unique technologies were developed over time for the manufacturers to accommodate the changes in every generation. One of these groundbreaking technologies is the Nike Flyknit.
Spending ten years of research to figure out evolutionary footwear, the Swoosh brand discovered a specially knitted upper that is produced with a high strength super light yarn. In February 2012, Nike first introduced its Flyknit technology when it released the Nike Flyknit Racer. The development of the Flyknit technology was inspired by runners' feedback, saying that they wanted a shoe that has the same qualities with a sock. The Flyknit technology made sneakers durable, stretchy, form-fitting, and it weighed almost next to nothing.
After the presentation of the Flyknit Racer, the brand released the Flyknit Trainer. It is another shoe version using the Flyknit technology that was able to keep the same benefits of the Flyknit Racer but is designed for training rather than competing. These were the first two Nike sneakers that boasted the Flyknit technology.
The war of the knits: Nike Flyknit versus Adidas Primeknit
Among the many technologies that have been developed, these two brands, Nike and Adidas, have developed game-changing technologies that are somehow similar. Nike released the Flyknit technology first before the Adidas Primeknit entered the game. Nike filed a patent infringement in a district court in Germany to forbid Adidas in making and selling its Primeknit shoes in Germany. However, Adidas defended that the featured intertwined yarns from both technologies stemmed from a technique that has been used since the 40s.
The Flyknit and the Primeknit both make use of a "one-piece" approach, which made footwear lightweight and it eliminated manufacturing waste. Both technologies aim to provide players around the world the ultimate fit while still giving necessary stability. So how are they different from one another?
- The yarns and fabric variations are promptly engineered in strategic locations or the areas where they are needed for a featherweight, glove-like fit, and virtually seamless upper.
- It is an advanced knitted material that places stronger fibers in certain areas for added support.
- It forms and holds to the shape of the users' feet without needing any backing or cage to build a structure.
- The upper of a shoe made of a Flyknit may stretch a little but is more rigid compared to a Primeknit upper.
- Due to being more rigid, Nike Flyknit provides more support than the Primeknit technology.
- The Primeknit is a knitted one-piece upper that is made using the same material throughout the footwear.
- Applying heat to specific areas of the shoe will provide the support of the shoe.
- The Primeknit is a softer and stretchier version of the Flyknit.
- Since it is ultra-soft and ultra stretchy, Primeknit Sneakers have lesser support compared to Flyknit Sneakers.
- Shoes using the Primeknit technology need a cage so that it can hold the feet better and give more structure to the sneaker.
Cream of the crop Flyknit sneakers
Nike successfully utilized the Flyknit technology after many years of research. Among the brand's products, below are the best Flyknit shoes.
Nike Air Max 270 Flyknit
The Air Max 270, which is the base model of the AM 270 Flyknit, was released in 2018 during the celebration of the "Air Max Month". Compared to its parent silhouette, the Flyknit version of the Nike AM 270 comes in a minimal looking design and is offered in a good deal of colorway sets to be able to satisfy the wearers' taste.
- Feel the air from the top and bottom due to its breathable Flyknit upper that helps keep the feet cool and its Air heel unit that delivers superb cushioning.
- The Flyknit model of this silhouette is more breathable and has a more supportive upper.
Nike Flyknit Trainer
The Nike Flyknit Trainer was first seen in 2012, the same year the Flyknit technology was introduced. It became famous when Michael Phelps wore the pair while receiving his medals. However, in 2013, the shoe stopped circulating, and it was only brought back in the market after four years to celebrate the silhouette's fifth anniversary.
- The Flyknit trainer is best for lifestyle use. However, it also works well for most gym or training activities that do not require a significant amount of stable base.
- To make the shoe as light as it can be, it does not have plenty of padding.
- It weighs approximately 238 grams.
Nike Air Zoom Mariah Flyknit Racer
The technology-filled Nike Mariah Flyknit Racer is a product of three Nike shoes, the Nike Air Mariah, the Nike Air Sock Racer, and the Nike Flyknit Racer. Bringing these shoes together, the Air Zoom Mariah Flyknit Racer was released in 2017.
- Due to the Flyknit technology, it makes the sneaker's upper breathable, which users enjoy since it keeps their feet well-ventilated throughout the day.
- The pair is well-cushioned and cozy due to the Zoom Air cushioning the Nike Air Zoom Mariah Flyknit Racer features.
Nike Roshe Two Flyknit
On September 1, 2016, the Flyknit version of the Roshe Run was released. The Nike Roshe Two Flyknit is the second silhouette from the series. An updated version of this silhouette was issued and is known as the Nike Roshe Two Flyknit V2.
- Its predecessor, the Nike Roshe Run, was originally a running shoe but the Flyknit version is more of a lifestyle shoe and is not designed for intense physical activities
- It has an innovative ribbed design that shifts color as the wearers move.
- The design of the Nike Roshe Two Flyknit is minimalistic, which is inspired by the Zen concept and meditation.
Frequently asked questions
Does Nike Flyknit stretch?
While it is generally snug, some parts of the shoe are found to be stretchy. It will expand only to the point that the shoe molds around the feet of its wearers. The stretchiness of a Flyknit sneaker is minimal, thus allowing the shoe to keep its structure.
Do you wear socks on a Flyknit sneaker?
You can still wear socks on a Flyknit sneaker. However, the creation of the Flyknit technology intends to omit the usage of a sock. Flyknits are engineered to have a sock-like feel, and because of this, it accommodates the option of not wearing a sock.
How to clean a Flyknit shoe?
It is not recommended to machine wash a Flyknit shoe or any knitted footwear because the yarns might catch on to something, and once it does, it will ruin the entire shoe. Below is how to clean your Flyknit sneaker.
- Dry brush the dirt from the outsole and midsole using a soft-bristled brush.
- Dilute a small amount of detergent in a small bowl of cool water. The container should not be filled more than halfway to have enough room for dipping.
- Remove the laces then pack the shoe with a rolled-up cloth. The rolled fabric will help in absorbing excess liquid and provide resistance while you are working on the shoe's exterior.
- Dip another soft cloth on the detergent solution and use it to remove dirt on the upper. Rub the dirt firmly but with gentle pressure to avoid tearing the yarn of a Flyknit shoe.
- Repeat the process as much as needed, and when satisfied, rinse the cloth in clean water and use it to go over the shoe to remove the sudsy remainders.
- Dab the shoe with a dry towel then allow it to air dry.
What makes Flyknit sneakers enjoyable?
The Flyknit technology was developed to accommodate the feedback of the runners who wanted a shoe that has the same qualities as a sock. Flyknit shoes have the following characteristics.
- Sock-like fit. It is designed to feel like a second skin. It molds to the shape of its wearers' feet.
- Lightweight. The yarns and fabric variations used in a Flyknit sneaker are engineered in areas where they are needed. Because of this, there are no additional materials used, thus decreasing the weight of the shoe.
- Support. The use of durable fibers is strategically placed in areas where they are needed the most. It is weaved tighter on areas where support is required.
- Breathable and flexible. Since the upper is weaved strategically according to its intended usage, some areas of the shoe are weaved loosely for flexibility and breathability.
- It reduced manufacturing waste. It has a one-piece construction, which eliminates the usage of different materials and material cuts, unlike those shoes that are manufactured traditionally.
How to wear Nike Flyknit footwear?
Flyknit sneakers have a minimalistic design. Because of this, both men and women can easily slay the shoe, may it be for a slight formal event or just casual use. However, Flyknit shoes look best on a lifestyle ensemble.
Due to its straightforward style, men and women can experiment on their outfits. For those who are too lazy to mix and match their attire, Flyknit sneakers go well with a pair of jeans, cropped trousers, joggers, leggings, or shorts. For a street vibe, both can put on a hoodie or a loose shirt.
8 best Flyknit sneakers
- Nike Flyknit Trainer
- Nike Air Max 270 Flyknit
- Nike Roshe Two Flyknit
- Nike Air Vapormax Flyknit 3
- Nike Air Zoom Mariah Flyknit Racer
- Nike Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 Flyknit
- Nike Air Max Modern Flyknit
- Nike React Vapor Street Flyknit
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