A few weeks ago, The Guardian reported that Nike was facing some rather awkward difficulties relating to the sustainability and shelf-life of their products, and the company was now looking to repair their image and consumption statistics.
Fitting then, that this week saw the release of the company’s newest shoe offering, the ultra-minimalist Flyknit Lunar 1+. Apparently the result of four years hard R+D, Nike say that these shoes reflect what athletes really want from their footwear- “a snug and agile shoe that fits like a sock and is as light as a feather”. And they’re not far wrong there – a men’s size 10 apparently weighs just 8 oz!
First impressions are that the shoes do look great – you can almost see straight through them! Nike says that the shoes feature an upper part constructed entirely of a tightly woven polyester yarn that varies in density. This means that it is more open in targeted areas of your feet that may need greater flexibility or ventilation, and also tighter in areas that demand support.
Vicki-Marie Cossar over at the Metro reviewed the Flyknit Lunar 1+ (quite a mouthful now we’ve had to type that again…) in today’s edition and found the shoes excellent on all surfaces, from road to grass to sand, whilst trialing them in London’s Hyde Park. Less enamouring, however, is the price tag – a pair of these beauties will set you back £130 at the moment.
So is this the way Nike is going to convince us to its new frugal and environmentally-conscious mindset? According to the Grauniad, the Flyknit Lunar1+ reduces waste by an average of 80% when compared to typical Nike running footwear, and even the colour is helping the planet, thanks to Nike’s partnership with Dutch dying whizzkids, DyeCoo Textile Systems, which has developed a waterless dyeing machine that uses recycled carbon dioxide. Minimalist shoes have been growing in popularity rapidly over the last decade or so, boosted by barefoot bible “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall. You certainly wouldn’t want to waste these shoes in the gym – they should be ideal for road running and summer races.