The Brief History Of Flyknit Integration Into Nike Silhouettes

With Flyknit recently making its way onto the iconic Air Force 1, we take a look back at the integration of the technology into popular Nike silhouettes through the years. Nike certainly made a huge impact in the world of sneakers with its debut of Flyknit technology back in February 2012. Precisely engineering yarns and fabric variations for a featherweight, formfitting and virtually seamless upper, Nike's Flyknit has always been performance driven and it was first introduced to give runners a feeling of a 'second skin' on foot. While the world of running was the first beneficiary of the technology, Nike has slowly rolled out Flyknit on a whole host of performance-driven sneakers in the realms of basketball, soccer, football and now even golf. If you've been a fan of Flyknit from the beginning, you'll definitely enjoy this chronological timeline of how Nike has integrated this important technology throughout its stable of far.

Nike Lunar Flyknit HTM+ NRG

Model Debut: February 2012

When Nike introduced the innovative Flyknit technology back in February 2012, sneakerheads didn’t take long to get hyped up about the potential. And what better way to fire up the masses than reintroducing the world to the design triumvirate of HTM (Hiroshi Fujiwara, Tinker Hatfield, Mark Parker). Debuting in production runs of just 100 pairs, the world famous trio put together three neck-breaking colorways to show the people how fly Flyknit could actually be.

Nike Flyknit Racer

Model Debut: February 2012

As part of the initial February 2012 launch, the world was introduced to the iconic Flyknit Racer silhouette. Well, “introduced” may be a bit of a misnomer, considering the limited production runs initially. However, after a few super limited drops (including another trio of HTM fire), wider releases in the following months gave more and more folks the chance to pick up the innovative new silo. With colorways like volt/black making their retail debut, the sneaker world was introduced to one of the best warm-weather sneakers of all time.

Nike Flyknit Trainer+

Model Debut: July 2012

And while the Flyknit Racer garnered much of the early attention, 2012s London Summer games saw the US Track and Field team break out some more heat by donning the all-new Flyknit Trainer on medal stands. Once this newcomer finally made it’s way to retail, it didn’t take sneakerheads long to figure out this Flyknit thing was for real. But the crazy part is, while we continue to get awesome new Flyknit sneakers in 2016, we still haven’t seen much more of the Flyknit Trainer. Hey Nike, where ya at?

Nike Lunar Flyknit Trainer+ HTM

Model Debut: July 2012

Another Flyknit sneaker we’ve only seen in either women’s sizes, or crazy-limited HTM releases, is the Lunar Flyknit Trainer. Just look at those babies. So awesome. And while owning these is just a pipe dream for most people, it did introduce us Nike stans to the concept of multicolor Flyknit, which would receive quite a bit of hype in the years to come.

Nike Flyknit Track Spike

Model Debut: August 2012

While the Nike Flyknit Track Spike never saw a proper release at retail, we know it exists and, perhaps most importantly; it’s awesome. Debuting in the Olympic Summer Games in London, the Flyknit Track Spike marked the inevitable evolution of the technology into the athletic realm alongside running.

Nike Lunar Flyknit Chukka

Model Debut: February 2013

Following the trend of dropping a super hot, super limited colorway set prior to GRs hitting retail, Nike blessed us with the Lunar Flyknit Chukka. Now is the point where we make our plea to the good folks at Nike. Dear Nike, the Flyknit Chukka has been fire in nearly every iteration you’ve ever released. Save for a few strange colorways, the silo has made a fantastic addition to sneaker closets worldwide. However, let’s stop playing and get back to the real: Please bring back the Lunar Flyknit Chukka. Free is cool. SFB and ACG are also dope. But in all honesty, the Lunar Flyknit Chukka might just be our favorite (and most comfortable) sneaker in our rotation. Holler at us Nike!

Nike Flyknit Lunar1, Lunar2 & Lunar 3

Model Debut: February 2013 (Flyknit Lunar1)

In a world saturated with athletic sneakers, Nike’s Flyknit Lunar series sets itself apart by being the ideal combination of comfort, performance and aesthetic. A little trivia about us here at Kicks Deals; when we hit the gym, this is what we’re rocking most of the time. It’s the perfect workout shoe. Sure, some models might be more suited to certain types of training, but as an all-purpose gym sneaker, it’s hard to find a better shoe than the Flyknit Lunar 1, 2 or 3.

Nike Free Flyknit+

Model Debut: July 2013

With the success of the Flyknit program implementing cushioning technology like Zoom Air and Lunarlon, it was a no-brainer that Nike moved on to integrate Flyknit with some of their other popular technology. And thus, the Nike Free Flyknit+ was born. Initially dropping as a limited “City Collection,” the ultra-light kicks found their way into wider circulation not long after.

Nike Free Hyperfeel

Model Debut: September 2013

Speaking of fresh combinations, alongside the Free Flyknit, Nike also announced the Free Hyperfeel model. Utilizing a drop-in Lunarlon insert, along with the flex grooves the Free platform is known for, the Hyperfeel featured an ultra-thin waffle sole that provided a more natural, barefoot-style feel. Sure, they looked a bit wild, but they performed like a beast.

Nike Flyknit Air Max

Model Debut: January 2014

When talking about combining popular Nike technologies, bringing together Flyknit with the Air Max platform was a no-brainer. This mashup was certainly an eye-catcher just for the plush 360 Max Air unit sitting below the Flyknit upper. Frankly, we’re surprised it took Nike as long as it did to cook these up!

Nike WMNS Lunar Flyknit Trainer

Model Debut: January 2014

Like we mentioned before, the Lunar Flyknit Trainer is a bit of a mystery, at least outside of Nike boardrooms we suppose. Debuting first with HTM releases, in later years, the Lunar Flyknit Trainer has been relegated to overseas releases and WMNS sizing. Now, we’re all for equality over here at KD, but unless you’re a small-footer, catching this fantastic silo in your size has been a challenge, to say the least. Can we get an amen? Nike, what’s up with this one?

Nike Flyknit Trainer Chukka FSB

Model Debut: February 2014

The attraction of Flyknit rests not only in it’s breathability, but also it’s weight. Inherently suggesting that it’s a warm-weather sneaker. Well, at least that’s what we thought until Nike dropped the Flyknit Chukka FSB in 2014. Created for athletes of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Nike gave us the best of both worlds. Sure, the colorway was a bit out there, but we can say that these have really grown on us over time.

Nike Kobe IX Elite

Model Debut: February 2014

With all the success Flyknit had across the Running and NSW/Sportswear categories, it wasn’t a question of IF, but WHEN we would see it implemented in Nike’s most visible category: Basketball. Well, in 2014, designer Eric Avar answered that question with the help of Kobe Bean Bryant and the Nike Kobe 9. As they’re known to do, Nike made serious waves with this one. They delivered not only an unexpected signature sneaker for one of their most visible athletes, but also ushered in a new era of lightweight hoops sneakers. And though we’ll always be partial to Flyknit Kobe Lows, there is no doubt we’ll remember the high-cut Kobe 9 for decades to come.

Nike Magista

Model Debut: March 2014

And speaking of high-profile sporting categories for Flyknit to conquer, how about the global stage of the 2014 World Cup? Nike’s actual press release for the Nike Magista was titled with the phrase “Nike Changes Football Boots Forever.” And boy have they ever. Just look back at photos from the 2014 World Cup tourney. How many players were rocking the Magista, Mercurial, or Superfly? If you don’t recall: pretty much everyone who wasn’t on an adidas deal.

Nike Free Flyknit Chukka SP

Model Debut: April 2014

We mentioned the Free Flyknit Chukka earlier, but Nike didn’t introduce it until Spring 2014. And while we may be bigger fans of the Lunarlon rendition of the sneaker, we’re on record as being huge fans of Nike Free as well, and in particular, the sleeker look it lends to the Flyknit Chukka.

Nike Flyknit Mercurial Superfly IV

Model Debut: May 2014

While the Nike Magista was introduced by Barcelona’s Andres Iniesta, Nike saved their best boot for their top player: Cristiano Ronaldo. Dropping just in time for Ronaldo to rock in the World Cup, the Flyknit Mercurial Superfly IV became a huge success and paved the way for Flyknit (and other woven technology) to become common place on soccer boots nowadays.

Nike Free Mercurial Superfly HTM

Model Debut: June 2014

Shortly after introducing the Mercurial Superfly IV, the Swoosh Boys debuted the off-pitch version of the sneaker with what else? A fire HTM version known simply as the Mercurial Superfly HTM. Pairing the sock-like fit and Flyknit upper of it’s performance counterpart with the flexibility of Nike Free, the Mercurial Superfly has proven itself to be a true winner.

Nike Flyknit Roshe Run

Model Debut: August 2014

The Nike Flyknit Roshe Run is another one of those sneakers that had us wondering why it took so long to hit retail. With the success both the Flyknit tech and Roshe silo had seen up to that point, it was a bit of surprise these bad boys didn’t make it to retail sooner.

Nike Vapor Untouchable

Model Debut: December 2014

Being such a physical game, it’s understandable why it took so long for Nike Flyknit to make it’s way onto football fields. But it did just that back in December 2014 to celebrate the first ever College Football Playoff with the introduction of the Vapor Untouchable cleat, which featured recycled polyester yarn as each pair was knit with the equivalent of five recycled plastic bottles. Sure, the lightweight, breathable uppers might not be a lineman’s best friend, but skill position players have been much more receptive to the benefits of Flyknit.

Nike Footscape Magista

Model Debut: January 2015

The Footscape Magista is the off-the-field Nike Sportswear take on the Magista soccer boot. Boasting a Free Footscape Motion outsole, these sneakers are the perfect transition for casual wear off the field as they’re breathable, light and most importantly, very comfy. The OG black/white-gum pair (1 of 3 overall colorways) was the perfect intro for this sneaker and the model really got the attention of sneakerheads around the globe with country-influenced colorways that dropped in the summer of 2015 tying into the Women’s World Cup.

Nike WMNS Zoom Flyknit Agility

Model Debut: February 2015

Constantly innovating, Nike dropped the head-turning Zoom Flyknit Agility silhouette in February 2015. Utilizing a combination of Flyknit and Nike’s all-new (at the time) Hex Zoom outsole technology, the Zoom Flyknit Agility was hyped up at release. Unfortunately for the fellas, the Zoom Flyknit Agility has only appeared at retail as a women’s release to-date.

Nike Hypervenom II

Model Debut: May 2015

With the second iteration of their successful Hypervenom footie boots, Nike sprinkled in a bit of Flyknit to spice things up a little. Using a Flyknit collar, the Hypervenom II was the first soccer boot to be paired with their enhanced mesh, NikeSkin and All Conditions Control technologies. This was, and continues to be, one of our favorite boots to-date.

Nike Flyknit Chukka Golf

Model Debut: January 2016

Another excellent iteration of the fan favorite Flyknit Chukka was revealed, quite unexpectedly, last month in the form of a pair ready for you to hit the links. And while we never would have thought it would work, the Flyknit Chukka Golf shoe looks really dope. That said…Lunar back yet?

Nike Air Force 1 Ultra Flyknit

Model Debut: January 2016

One of our biggest complaints with the iconic Air Force 1 has always been weight. Sure, it’s an absolutely classic sneaker, and the white-on-white’s are a summer staple, but they’ve always felt a bit clunky, especially for a sneaker that many folks rock in the warmer months. Which is why we were stoked when Nike introduced two of their best friends, Flyknit and Air Force 1, to each other last month. Changing a classic is always a dicey proposition. But with the Air Force 1 Ultra Flyknit, both in high and low-top form (coming soon), Nike has done a fantastic job modernizing this sneaker icon.

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