What’s all the fuss about?
The engineers and designers at Nike set themselves a four-year ‘mission’ to create the technology needed to make the knit upper with what they say are “static properties for structure and durability”. The result? An upper that actually looks like one of those Christmas jumpers you had to seem pleased to receive. Nike tells us that the polyester yarn is actually fed into a knitting machine to create the fabric, which results in a one-piece layer that’s woven more openly in areas that need greater flexibility – and tighter in areas that demand more support.
Out of the box
Looks tend to be subjective (and divisive) but we think these shoes from Nike look pretty good. The upper is immediately distinctive with the knitted effect giving the shoe an almost slipper-like quality. They also feel surprisingly light, the Flyknit construction combining with the Lunarlon midsole in a lightweight and distinctive package.
On the foot
There’s no denying that these shoes fit like a glove. The Flyknit upper seems to hug your foot in all the right places. Its virtually seamless construction means no rubbing or sore points, while the Fitsole sockliner conforms to the shape of your foot for added support. If you’ve already sampled Nike’s Flywire technology, you’ll know how the cables wrap the midfoot for extra support.
On the road
We’ve always been a big fan of Lunarlon cushioning – and this shoe doesn’t disappoint. It provides a surprising amount of cushioning for what is after all a pretty lightweight trainer. The ride is responsive enough for when you need to push the pace (we tried these out over a series of mile reps) but also supportive enough for when you want to bang in a few extra miles.
For the trainer aficionados among you – and there are always some – these shoes also feature a pull tab on the heel for easy on and off, diamond-shaped cuts throughout the outsole for increased flexibility, and environmentally-preferred rubber lugs on the outsole that follow a forefoot pressure map for a more efficient stride.
This is an impressive shoe from Nike, which seems to have found its form again in the running market. Although the shoe packs some heavyweight technologies, the result is surprisingly uncomplicated – and all the better for it.