Minimalist Design: Nike Flyknit Series

NIKE has come out with various innovations this past week, one of which is the astonishingly minimal series, FLYKNIT, utilizing the most homespun of concepts: CROCHET.
Not your ordinary needle and thread, this is a micro-engineered upper utilizing resistant yet pliable material ideal for continual wear. Four years in the R+D phase, it is a masterful innovation in minimalist footwear, not quite as reductionist as the Swiss protection sock but certainly perhaps more practical. The single layer construction whittles the weight down to just 34 grams for the upper for a total of 160 for the entire shoe! Now that’s FLY.

Barefoot in the Park: Swiss Protection Sock

On the heels (excuse the pun) of the barefoot trend such as Vibrams 5-fingers shoes come the Swiss Protection sock developed with Kevlar (of bullet proof vest origins) and laminated with PVC for further protection. Not for everyone but possibly the solution for a variety of water sports and such. Running on tacks and glass is probably not recommended.
It brings new meaning to casual and “socks with sandals” notoriety and may become as annoying as the ubiquitous Croc but comfort is obviously the new black. Enjoy.
See more at:Swiss Barefoot Co.

Award winning Super Shock-Absorbing Trainers

A recent prototype of the On Running Shoe - the final design will be unveiled in February,...
By Darren Quick

It may be a great form of exercise, but running is a high impact pursuit that places great strain on muscles and tendons. The stress it places on the body forces many runners to hang up their shoes and seek alternative, lower impact forms of exercise. Looking to take the pain out of running, a Swiss engineer set about creating a shoe that enabled the runner to land as soft as if running on sand, and to push off as if running in track shoes. The result is the the On Running Shoe – a shoe that incorporates a unique rubber ring into the sole design to provide a soft landing, while offering firmness and stability on push off.

According to the creators of the On running shoe, more than two thirds of runners eventually suffer some kind of minor or major injury. Although existing running shoes are designed to absorb the vertical impact, the foot is exposed to both horizontal and vertical impact when running. It is the horizontal impact that causes the most damage to muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints, and that’s what the On design addresses.

Today’s shoes are also built to stabilize, guide and control the foot in its movement. This means that the runner’s postural muscles become lazy and even degenerate. The idea of the On is to create a support system that actually activates the postural muscles.

The solution was a shock element consisting of a hollow circular piece of rubber that is able to absorb both the vertical and horizontal shock. Then, after landing the runner’s weight pushes the top and bottom of the element together and interlocking teeth on the inside surface of the element lock together. It is this locking that provides firmness for the push off.

Three-time world champion triathlete and six-time Ironman Olivier Bernhard, who was recovering from injury and was looking for a low-impact way to maintain his running fitness, heard about the shoe. He decided to get on board and ran thousands of kilometers helping test and refine the shoe’s design. It appears the extensive testing has paid off with the On Running Shoe taking out the Advansa Overall Award at the recent ispo BrandNew Awards.

The final design of the On Running Shoe will be unveiled at the International Trade Fair for Sports Equipment and Fashion (ispo), which takes place in Munich from February 7-10, 2010.

Hello, beautiful.

Quite possibly the most beautiful heels ever created come from a very young, talented designer (and pretty), Kerry Luft.  An MA from Cordwainers, a BA honours from Northhampton College AND having worked with Lulu Guiness and Patrick Cox, it probably comes as no surprise.
The collection is inspired by Art Nouveau (one of my favorite decorative movements) and one that perhaps has a lot of resonance with today’s issues…  Check her work out at: