Nike’s HTM Flyknit Collection Runs Circles Round the Rest

Published February 24, 2012

Major buzz for footwear releases is typically reserved for basketball kicks and limited-edition sneakers, not serious running shoes. Then again, not every running shoe is designed with Harajuku street wear king Hiroshi Fujiwara at the helm. A collaboration between Fujiwara, Nike designer Tinker Hatfield and Nike Inc. CEO Mark Parker, the limited-edition HTM Flyknit collection hit shelves this week with crazy, cutting-edge technology to match its makers’ pedigree.

Made using eco-friendly materials and a one-piece knit upper, the HTM Trainer+ (in grey and black colorways) and HTM Racer (in US Track & Field blue, available Saturday) serve as Nike’s answer to calls from the world’s elite runners for a sock-like, formfitting shoe with virtually zero drag. We were lucky enough to get our hands on both models at Tuesday’s Olympic Innovation Summit in New York, and the light-as-a-feather construction proved surprisingly firm and supportive.

The offerings didn’t stop there, however, as Nike (with the help of nine-time gold medalist Carl Lewis and current world’s fastest woman Carmelita Jeter) also unveiled at the summit its pro-level Flyknit Racer and Flyknit Trainer shoes, slated for release in July. Designed for use in this summer’s London Olympics and crafted using the same state-of-the-art upper as the HTM collection, the Flyknit Racer is a remarkable 19% lighter than Nike’s Zoom Streak 3—the shoe worn by all three medalists in the men’s marathon at the 2011 World Championships.

Whether these new innovations will lead to a gold medal haul for Nike athletes in 2012 remains to be seen, but after getting a look at the footwear firsthand this week, you can bet we’ll be watching in anticipation for the records to fall.

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT NIKE’S HTM FLYKNIT AND FLYKNIT COLLECTIONS, VISIT WWW.NIKE.COM.