When Nike introduced its Flyknit technology in 2012, the sportswear giant literally broke the mold of sneaker construction. By using a weaving technique that results in a virtually seamless one-piece upper, Nike is able to create a shoe that has the featherweight pliability of a sock yet the support and durability of a trainer.
Flyknit is better for the environment, too. Compared with traditional cut-and-sew methods, the technology allows the company to slash its waste by roughly 60 percent. Five years on, Nike is employing a similar tack to Flyleather, a new “super material” that looks and feels like leather but is lighter and stronger.