Nike Flyknit Racer (Those Bright Shoes at the Olympics)

“A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

Meet the Nike Flyknit Racer ($149.99) —otherwise known as the really bright shoes all the elite runners were wearing in London. As Nike describes it, the inspiration for the shoe “was born from the common runner feedback, craving a shoe with the qualities of a sock: a snug fit that goes virtually unnoticed to the wearer.”


Nike commissioned a team of programmers, engineers, and designers to build a shoe upper that fit with skin-like snugness and pliability but still provided support and durability. It took 4 years of research and testing, but Nike’s team finally developed a revolutionary material that was both extraordinarily supple and durable.

The shoe, however, wasn’t finished. There was still the issue of construction. How to build the shoe so that the benefits of such cutting-edge proprietary technology could be optimized? The answer was, quite literally, seamless.

Acting on the philosophy, “If you don’t need it, get rid of it,” Nike integrated structure and support into a one-piece upper (hence the term “Flyknit”), eliminating waste and excess weight. The result is an extraordinarily lightweight shoe that hugs the foot: the upper and tongue weigh in at a scanty 1.2 ounces, while the entire shoe itself weighs just 5.6 ounces (for a men’s size 9).

The Nike Flyknit Racer is the florescent incarnation of a runner’s mentality—be as light as possible, be as efficient as possible, be as fast as possible—making its ubiquitous presence at the Olympics is no wonder. A shoe that fits like a sock, is ridiculously lightweight, and still provides support and durability? Yes, please.

Stop by the store today to check out the unisex Nike Flyknit Racer!

And if racing isn't your thing or you're looking for a state-of-the-art training shoe that has supplemental cushioning technologies in both the heel and forefoot, consider the Flyknit Racer's sister shoe, the unisex Flyknit Trainer ($149.99).  It has a snug midfoot, relaxed forefoot, and a moderate arch height and platform curve.  If that describes your foot shape, you don't overpronate, and your calves and Achilles tendons will tolerate a daily-use shoe with a 6mm heel-to-toe drop, it's definitely a shoe that will get your feet noticed!

By the way, the Flyknit Trainer was not available before the Olympics.  Nike reports that Galen Rupp, Andrew Wheating, and Kara Goucher trained in the Structure Triax 15.  The Pegasus 29 was the shoe of choice for Shalane Flanagan, Matt Tegenkamp and Evan Jager.  Matt Centrowitz trained in the LunarFly 3.  Those three styles are available at FLEET FEET Sports.

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