Though Nike’s Flyleather has seen a slow build up over the last year with intermittent releases, the Swoosh seems to be preparing us to see a whole lot more of its innovative material.
On Thursday, Nike explained the benefits of applying Flyleather to sneakers in its lineup — specifically retro models with traditional leather builds. While a few of these retros saw an extremely limited release in 2017 and the women’s Classic Cortez Flyleather is still available now, it seems like Nike is ready to make a consistent run with the new material.
Showing off its many applications on the Air Force 1 — and even name-dropping the Air Jordan 1 (both of which have been released in Flyleather builds) — we got a look at how well Flyleather can be embossed and/or printed on, as well as how it can mimic full-grain leather, smooth leather, and even suede.
Flyleather combines 50% recycled natural leather and synthetic leather fibers through a hydro-process to make one material that reduces Nike’s carbon footprint. The natural leather used comes from discarded scraps of cow hide, of which up to 30% is wasted on average. Nike has collected the scraps from the floors of tanneries and turned them into fibers for fusing process. The end result is a build that Nike says is up to 40% lighter yet five times more durable than traditional leather.
I don’t know about you all, but a lighter and more durable build that feels and acts like genuine leather could be what the brand needs to take the Performance Retro (Protro) midset beyond the Kobe line in the future.
Are you excited about the possibilities of Flyleather in future Nike releases or does this sound like another premium you aren’t looking forward to shelling out more for? Share your thoughts in the comments below.