The ‘Nike Air Force 1’ (AF1) Ultra Flyknit is Nike’s latest addition to the AF1 collection. A first glance, the Ultra Flyknits resembles a similar silhouette to shoes of the same name sake. However, apart from the iconic AF1 name, it is anything but what you would expect from a sneaker.
In 1982, Nike produced the first in its ‘Nike Air Force 1’ collection, then named ‘Nike Air Force’. Since its first edition designed by Bruce Kilgore, the AF1 collection has since grown to include approximately 2000 designs. This latest incarnation of the AF1 sneaker was designed by Nike Footwear Design Director Jonathan Griffin. After wearing an older version of the AF1 during the Paris Fashion Week, Director Griffin came up with some improvements and solutions to the problems he faced while wearing the older AF1. Hence, the AF1 Ultra Flyknit was born. With a strong emphasis on functionality and aesthetics, the AF1 Ultra Flyknit is a shoe designed to be worn anywhere for almost any occasion.
The most obvious improvements over the older AF1 versions are the marked decrease in weight and the curved eyestay. Both go a long way towards improving the wearer’s comfort as the new curved eyestay ensures that the shoe wraps comfortably and snugly around the wearer’s foot. This combined with the lighter shoe makes it almost feel as if the shoe is a part of the wearer’s body. In addition, the Ultra Flyknit features a deboss backtab instead of the usual embroidery, which stands out as an AF1 flyknit signature.
Trying out the shoes for ourselves, we can safely conclude that the Ultra Flyknit definitely lives up to its name as the lightest AF1 edition yet. Besides being the lightest AF1 shoe, the Ultra Flyknit also feels significantly lighter as compared to other mid cut sneakers from different brands. The usual loose fitting sneaker problem doesn’t present itself here as the shoes fits and conforms to our feet snuggly, which made walking in them very comfortable as the shoes had that ‘just-right’ feel.
Despite the snug fit, we felt that the shoe sacrificed none of its flexibility. Shoes with a mid cut design can often feel constricting around the ankle, but the Ultra Flyknit was surprisingly flexible in that respect. Also, it was a pleasant surprise for us that the shoe vamps remained unwrinkled, despite our model having walked in them for the duration of the one-day shoot.
All in all, the AF1 Ultra Flyknit provides good comfort and functionality without compromising on style. It comes in two colour schemes, the more conspicuous ‘University Red/Team Red/White/Black’, which was featured above, and the more conservative ‘White/Pure Platinum/White’. Whatever your style, the Ultra Flyknit is sure to grab the attention of nearby passers-by.
For those interested, the shoes are going for $239-$269 a pair and are available at Nike’s Shaw and Raffles City outlets as well as other Limited Edition outlets.
Reviewed by Jit Hin and edited by Daniel Chin.
Photo Credit: Paris Chia for WhatsNextSG