September 18th, 2017 by John Kim
While moments in history drive the culture of sneakers, it’s the technology and innovation that promise us an untapped world of possibilities. In 2012, Nike revolutionized the entire industry with Flyknit; every brand chasing them followed suit with their own renditions of knit uppers and the sock-like second-skin sneaker aesthetic was born. Nike is at it again with FlyLeather, a game-changing advance that allows the brand to produce footwear with high quality leathers and suedes with far less a carbon imprint on our planet.
The FlyLeather process produces a synthetic leather that uses 90% less water, is 40% lighter, has 80% less of a carbon imprint, and is five times more durable than classic full-grain leather. It also diverts waste from landfills as it uses unused scraps from tanneries (30% of the hide of a cow gets thrown out) and recycles old leather.
So why is this so important? Nike can now produce your favorite sneakers with far less disruption. Your favorite classics, from the Air Jordan 1 to the Air Force 1, can be made with much better quality. Truth is, everything about manufacturing sneakers is getting more and more expensive, so this may help keep costs down because Nike is literally taking trash and turning it into the sneakers we love.
To commemorate this innovation, Nike is unveiling five shoes during Climate Week NYC 2017. The Air Jordan, Air Max 90, Cortez, Tennis Classic, and Air Force 1 are built with FlyLeather uppers in the classic Safari print and rose gold swooshes. You can only win a pair now by following the giveaway guidelines here; the giveaway is now live and ends on September 30th.