It’s a well-known fact that Nike has made some of the most impressive advancements when it comes to sneaker tech. Just last week it announced the ISPA Link and ISPA Link Axis, two sneakers with three detachable components that make for eco-friendly customization. The latest addition to the roster is the Spark Flyknit 1, a sneaker that pushes the envelope — and the wearer’s endurance — when it comes to running.
Teased earlier this year by trusted sneaker leakers, the shoes were shown with a rough makeup of orange and blue knits and foams. Now that official images have surfaced, we can see that the Swoosh is going in a more futuristic, aesthetically pleasing direction.
Never enough knits — The sneaker is dressed in various shades of black and beige, foregoing the leaked images’ colorful makeup. Its upper is comprised of layers of knit fabrics, woven and engineered with Flyknit construction. Flyknit is Nike’s lightweight material made of durable strands of yarn that are woven into a one-piece upper. While the yarn may seem too soft to endure multi-mile runs, it actually secures the wearer’s foot to the shoe bed and gives some added flexibility as the knit stretches during movement.
Part of the midfoot is slightly exposed to reveal a mini Swoosh logo, which then gives way to patches of black that run from the lacing system toward the heel tab. A big Swoosh across the lateral side sits this one out, but smaller ones do appear at the toes for more modest branding. A sock-like bootie molds to the wearer’s foot, but the open paneling in the Flyknit ensures they won’t overheat during a run.
It's the soles that seem to add to most of the shoe’s weight and overall bulkiness. Nike combines a new form of dual-density foam cushioning at the base, a curvy design that looks similar to other running models courtesy of Fragment and Virgil Abloh, for example. A hard plastic spring plate is sandwiched between the foam, and the rest of its exterior is stacked with ridges and indents.
Nike hasn’t confirmed the kicks just yet, but the official images mean more info on the release could be just on the horizon. Whether you’re a runner, a fan of Nike tech, or both, the Spark Flyknit 1 could be just what your collection needs.