Sneakers woven out of thread!
Knit sneakers for both men and women have hit the sneaker market in a big way. Traditional leather and canvas sneakers have been replaced with woven fiber sneakers which are lighter and much more breathable. All the major sneaker brands have come out with their versions. Here are the ones we’ve either heard great things about or actually own. Nike refers to these new sneakers as ‘the next generation of creatives’. Rumor has it that Adidas started the trend with a pair of knitted soccer cleats in 2014. Most brands making knit sneakers are making them for both men and women.
The Greats company was a 2013 start-up that hit the big time. It is based in Brooklyn and their goal was to design a classic men’s sneaker for an affordable price. They sold out of most styles in 90 days when they launched. These G-Knit sneakers for men come in three color combinations. They promise their one-piece mélange upper will fit perfectly. They are $89.00 a pair, but two colors are currently on sale for $69.00 a pair.
Men’s Under ArmourWomen’s Under Armour
Women’s Under Armour
Under Armour recently introduced their Speedform Slingshot and Slingride running shoes for both men and women. The two products have some differences but are similar in many ways. They are seamless from heel to toe with a 3D knit upper and a sock-like ‘burrito tongue’ that wraps the foot. The fiber used is Dyneema which Under Armour says is the world’s strongest fiber. The rubber outsole has good traction with less weight. Women’s prices range from $100.00 – $119.00. The men’s Under Armour Slingshot and Slingride range in price from $85.00 – $120.00. They all have many color options.
Nike has many options of knit sneakers for men and women. Most of them the sneakers are the new Converse Chuck II lightweight knit collection and the others are Converse Chuck Taylor knits. Choose among knit high-tops, low tops, one with fur, many colors and some sparkles. They have a Nike Lunarlon sockliner, a nonslip padded tongue and an ultra-soft micro-suede lining. The exterior is an ‘ultra thin, tightly inter woven knit material’. There are ten styles and many colors to choose among. All are on sale.
For a knit running shoe Nike offers their Flyknits. These have been available for several years. Nike uses yarns and fabrics engineered to be featherweight and formfitting with a virtually seamless upper. The shoe weighs only 5.6 oz for a men’s size 9. Nike describes this shoe as ‘a minimalist design with maximum return’. The flyknits come for men, women and children. They can be personalized there are several styles and many colors to choose from. Prices start at $130.00.
This Converse Chuck II is a unisex sneaker. It has a reflective poly knit top. It also comes in red and is on sale for $49.97.
Allbirds are made from wool. The founders of this company extol the virtues of wool because it will conform to your foot, be cool in heat and warm in cold, wick moisture, minimize odor, is machine washable, minimizes your carbon footprint and is so soft you can go sockless. One founder, Tim Brown, grew up in New Zealand, and was impressed by the many great qualities of merino wool. He wondered why this sustainable resource hadn’t ever been used in footwear. That began his journey to create a new category of shoes made from natural materials. He teamed up with a San Francisco-based engineer and renewables expert and the rest is history. They created an innovative wool fabric made specifically for footwear and designed an extremely comfortable shoe. This is the shoe of choice for both male and female entrepreneurs of the Bay area. More than just a running shoe – these are comfortable enough to be slippers. I believe the new term is ‘athleisure’. Subscriber Susan G. first introduced us to them and Ginny has been wearing them ever since – she also bought them for her four daughters.
Sketchers have offered knit uppers on sneakers for women for a couple of years. The Skechers Flex Appeal 2.0 come in six colors for $62.99. They have knit jersey uppers, a lightly padded tongue and collar, soft fabric linings, an air-cooled Memory Foam footbed. The best news is that they only weigh 7 oz.