After winning a 2012 court case that ended Nike’s patent on Flyknit-like footwear, adidas has been developing a similar technology on their running shoes called Primeknit. It has not technically received a US release date yet, but with both companies going in on this type of knit construction footwear, it is clear that we are looking at the future.
If you aren’t familiar with Flyknit or this concept in general, you’re probably looking for a crash course. Basically, the uppers on these types of shoes are just one continuous piece of yarn, thus eliminating the scrap waste that usually comes with manufacturing footwear. There is no stitching, linings, or other reinforcements – just a knit-constructed upper that molds to your foot effortlessly. It reduces weight and waste, which is good news for your foot and the environment. They call that a “win-win”.
So, how would this translate to soccer cleats? There are certainly challenges that go along with this, but these two giant corporations can easily find ways around that. You can read more about that in our piece about what Nike Flyknit would look like on a football boot. The other question: How will Primeknit stack up against Flyknit? We don’t have enough information on the former to compare it to the latter just yet, but once Primeknit breaks in for good, we will be able to begin the comparisons.
Currently, Nike’s Flyknit already has the firm standing and name recognition for running shoes that adidas obviously pines for, and Flyknit has started to leak into other sports as well. This means adidas will be attempting the same strategy at some point. It’s clear that Primeknit is still going through tests and is not fully ready to break into the US market. The question is what the impact will be on athletic footwear once it does.