Normally, nostalgia is used to market products that are decades old. But, this week, Nike released FlyKnit kicks that were first sold in 2012, with new colorways becoming available as the year goes on.
Some fly knit
It was only five years ago that Nike changed the industry it helped create, with the release of the Flyknit, which was an all-new knit material originally used on two of Nike’s silhouettes, the Flyknit Trainer and Flyknit Racer, which ushered in the knit era of kicks.
So, just what is Flyknit? It is a yarn manufactured from recycled plastics by enormous knitting machines, which weave complex textural designs into the single-piece uppers, to be used to make the shoes that fit better and reduces waste.
The inspiration for Nike Flyknit 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. While reducing shoe weight is one aspect of helping runners, the Nike Flyknit upper is also engineered for a precision fit, creating a feeling of a second skin.
An additional environmentally sustainable benefit to Nike Flyknit is that it reduces waste because the one-piece upper does not use the multiple materials and material cuts used in traditional sports footwear manufacture. Nike Flyknit is truly a minimalist design with maximum return.
The original Flyknit
When first released in the summer of 2012, just ahead of the Summer Olympics in London, the Flyknit sneakers weren’t immediately successful. That is said to be due to the high-end price (of $150), being marketed at athletes, as well as a reputation of being less durable than other sneakers.
But that didn’t stop people catching on, seeing the first two silhouettes – now referred to as the OG Racer” and OG Trainer” – becoming extremely popular, which is why Nike is choosing to re-release the shoe (although, sneakerheads that want the originals will be looking to pay prices between $300 and $400 on the secondary market).
So, if the shoe was seen as overpriced (and not that durable), just how did it become popular? That was due to smart marketing by Nike, which had its athletes wear the Flyknit shoes at the Summer Olympics, including every single time Michael Phelps put kicks on his “flippers” in London.
The first generation of Flyknit sneakers went on to be released in a wide variety of colorways, but it was one particular colorway that was most popular, which is one that will be released again: Cookies & Cream.