This week in Milan, Nike stole a bit of the spotlight away from the new designs unveiled during the Salone Internazionale del Mobile by launching its revolutionary HTM Flyknit series—a follow-up to its next-gen sneaker inspired by the snug fit, breathability, and flexibility of a sock. While the high-performance FlyKnit Racer, which was unveiled earlier this year, will be worn by Olympic marathoners, the limited-edition HTM is intended for the rest of us: plain old sneaker geeks.
Four years in the making, Flyknit Racer required an entirely different shoe-making process (including new machinery and software) to produce a one-piece, lightweight knit upper. For support and structure, Nike wove in supportive cables, which loosen and contract with your foot. For HTM, the collaborating team of stylist Hiroshi Fujiwara, Nike Vice President of Creative Design Tinker Hatfield, and Nike CEO Mark Parker used the warp and weft of the knit to come up with some interesting color combinations for the three-shoe line: Multiple yarns of varying hues are mixed to create a heathered effect, and bold color details are integrated throughout. They offer a stylish way to split the difference between an over-padded shoe and those freakish barefoot runners.
Check out the beauty shots in the slide show.