Running shoes are becoming brightly colored cultural staples that combine fashion with advanced technology. Two of the largest companies that produce running shoes, Adidas and Nike, are continuing this evolution by each creating a new line of ultra-lightweight next generation running shoe that will be customizable to the runner’s unique foot, eco-friendly to produce and lighter than ever before.
The newest Nike running shoe, released in late April, is not your typical sneaker. It is called Nike FlyKnit and it is unique because it is made of yarn (yes, yarn). The FlyKnit is sort of the wave of the future for Nike. Nike’s goal is to create totally customizable shoes that will ultimately streamline production and cut down on waste.
Matt Parker, the CEO of Nike explained to the Oregonian, “Customization of product will be on a whole different level. You’re going to be able to scan your foot and create a shoe that is designed right to your foot.” Overall, this new method has created a shoe with the characteristics that promote strong athletic performance: great breathability, biomechnical adaptability and weight reduction.
However, Nike is not the only major athletic shoe company coming out with insanely light shoes that are pushing technological boundaries. Adidas has come out with the adiPure Adapt that weighs in at 4.5 ounces, 2.2 ounces less than the Nike FlyKnit. The adiPure Adapt is designed to let the body’s natural form be unhindered by reducing the cushioning between the runner and the ground.
These adjustments make your feet and legs barely feel any change in the running surface. The main goal for the adiPure Adapt is to have the runner’s point of contact be the mid or fore-foot in order to provide a more natural stride. Overall, the adiPure Adapt may look like a sock that Aqua Man would wear, but if it works properly, then it could change the running shoe forever.
The FlyKnit and adiPure Adapt are very similar in their core elements by the way in which they are being presented to the public. Both shoe companies wanted to get their shoes to U.S. markets in order to be ready for the expected athletic shoe market rush before the 2012 Olympics this summer in London.
The two companies are also making an even lighter version of their shoes for the Olympic marathon runners. And last but not least, both companies are heavily promoting the natural fit of their shoe. Creating a shoe that best supplements the natural components of the body is a new direction for shoe companies. If the big players such as Nike and Adidas are making such drastic changes to the traditional running shoe, it is only a matter of time before other companies follow their lead.
The Story Behind FlyKnit Technology:
Introducing FlyKnit Technology:
Additional AdiPure Adapt Images:
Images Courtesy of Hypebeast and BrandChannel.com