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Nike Flywire Tech

Traditionally sneakers have been constructed with multiple panels, made from various materials, stitched together for support. However, in 2008 Nike set out to develop shoes to be as light as possible, and Jay Meschter from Nike’s Innovation Kitchen drew inspiration from suspension bridges to create Nike Flywire.

The initial prototypes of Flywire were made with Kevlar threads because Nike wanted to use a strong yet light material. After breaking several embroidery machines, the researchers in the Nike lab switched to using Vectran, a material used by NASA and in bicycle tires.

Vectran is made of finely spun liquid crystal polymer fibers. These fibers possess an extremely high tensile strength, and they have the ability to stretch and move with the foot. The engineers at Nike have calculated exactly how much stress each fiber is under, so they placed each thread at the precise points where the foot requires the most support. This tech allows the wearer’s sneakers to move like a second skin.

Flywire threads wrap around the foot like tendons, stopping it for slipping and forging a lockdown fit. Originally intended for runners, Nike soon adapted the tech for basketball shoes, golf shoes, tennis shoes, soccer cleats, and more. Flywire is even featured in LeBron James signature line of basketball sneaker.

With the support of these filaments, the upper’s material can be much thinner, allowing for a vast range in flex when compared to traditional sneakers. Flywire has allowed Nike to drop weight on their high performance sneakers in some cases up to 50%. Sneakers crafted with the cables can be as light as 93 grams (the weight of about 2 Snickers bars), and extra support is added as needed in a case by case basis such as basketball shoes.

Check out our selection of Flywire sneakers to see which silhouette best fits you, be it basketball, running, or lifestyle.