Nike FlyKnit

It’s unsurprising to hear that Nike has put out a new shoe, or some fancy new material for shoe making. But whats even more exciting than that is when Nike takes that next big step and straight up changes the Paradigm of how we, as a culture, think about shoes, and moreover, fitness apparel.

I’ve previously read that internally, Nike has a challenge to switch Paradigms like this every 10 years. You saw it with their Nike+ technology, and the integration of iPods directly into their product lines. They’ve done this time and time again, sometimes with amazingly powerful results, and sometimes to little fanfare and a sullen disappearance.

But this time, Nike has outdone itself – which is no small feat in and of itself.

They have crafted the first ever knit shoe – resembling the production of a sock, but with a firm structure and a sole. The technology had to be CREATED by Nike, using production methods never before thought of. This bottom-up recreation of an industry is exactly what is happening across all industries as the global economy wains, and Nike taking a major step like this is sure to inspire many copy-cats, both in fitness apparel and – hopefully – in other industries.

Can you imagine where we’d be if BP took this kind of approach to oil drilling? What if Ford followed this model and was able to produce a whole new type of vehicle?

A lot of companies are skating by on the promise, and implementation, of technologies we already know of, of tools we are familiar with. Hybrid cars are not a “revolution” they’re simply a new fuel processing mechanism inside the same old vehicle body. Mercedes-Benz is bringing Siri to it’s cars – an established technology implemented into another established technology – and we’re supposed to take this as “innovation”?

Please, get real.

What Nike has done here is something SO revolutionary and on-point, that there must, and will be, an amazing outpouring of inspiration. They CREATED a technology, to re-CREATE an old technology. This is what innovation REALLY looks like. They found a problem with something none of us thought had problems, and instead of fixing 1 aspect, they re-approached the entire problem. This fresh re-take gave them a whole new set of expectations, goals and challenges. Instead of trying to shoe-horn (pun intended) an idea and just make a shoe that “looks knit” they went full boar and created a shoe whose fabric MOVES, EXPANDS and REACTS to the wearer.

Running shoes used to be all about comfort, stability and keeping you from mangling your feet as you ran around the neighborhood. But Nike has thrown all of that out the window (and these are fundamentals THEY established) and instead has opted to create a shoe that is comfortable, reactive, stable and interactive with it’s wearer. They are forcing us to demand more from our footwear, and this is ONLY a good thing for the industry, and our culture as a whole.

Congrats Nike.

via fast co.

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