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Flyknit Nike Review

It’s been a while since we’ve done this but since the sole unit of the Nike Free RN Flyknit is such an intrinsically linked outsole and midsole, I’m going to be talking about them as a unit rather than as separate parts.

If you’re ever used a Nike Free shoe in the past then you know the smooth texture of the hybrid material. Lighter than a more traditional blown or carbon rubber but more durable than just foam, the only areas where actual rubber shows up is in two pods at the toe and 3 pods at the back of the heel. The foam of the midsole part of this shoe is a next-gen fused Lunar core with injected IU (IU002) foam for updated cushioning. Durability with ~40 miles on the shoe is quite good and I didn’t feel any need for a break-in period.

Where the truly interesting part of the sole unit comes in is with the introduction of Nike’s Auxetic Tri-Star geometry. Auxetic refers to a material (often a foam) that actually becomes thicker perpendicular to the force applied. In other words, it you pull on the short sides of a rectangle, the long sides will expand (see image below).


From a design perspective, this means that the sole unit is broken down into bunch of segments laid out across diagonal and sagittal axes and when the runner applies weight to the shoe, the sole unit expands to account for the foot’s natural expansion. This, in addition to the material cushioning of the foam, accounts for a nicely cushioned feel with the flexibility of a much more minimal shoe.

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