Down to the Wire Shoe designers craft their work around an idea, not a foot. Nike’s big brainstorm, Flywire, replaces all of a shoe’s heavy structural materials with support threads that resemble the steel cables on a suspension bridge. But the Vectran filaments may also soon help replace Nike factories in China. The see- through shoe is reportedly so inexpensive to make that Nike may move some manufacturing back to the United States. The Flywire-based ZOOM VICTORY (1) middle-distance spike weighs only 93 grams, or 3.28 ounces. The HYPERDUNK (2) will help Chinese star Yi Jianlian get an even bigger vertical edge. NBA MVP Kobe Bryant will have his own version of the shoe.
A version of this article appeared in the July/August 2008 issue of Fast Company magazine.