Nike Flyknit was the best thing to happen to sports footwear in 2012.
Not only did it take the niche HTM concept a decade after it debuted and make it the inaugural project to launch Nike's biggest technology in years, beyond the blogosphere, those neon spikes crossing finishing lines first and the shoes on the medal stands made this a mainstream movement too, invading pop culture with a vengeance. You don't need to know the story behind the shoes to appreciate them either— too often, a product needs written or "influencer" aided context to make it desirable.
Without the Olympics and without the Tier Zero status these would still be a much-loved shoe. Don't believe us? Just look how the Roshe Run blew up without as much as a press release. Flyknit was so strong that it eliminated the need for Nike to bother with any 40th anniversary backslapping - embodying Bowerman's core principles of design, it stayed true to the brand's original ethos, but changed the game too. It was good to see people queueing for something brand new too.
The downside? When they said the original Lunar Flyknit and Flyknit Racer were hard to obtain, they weren't kidding. For once, limited actually seemed to be limited (and bear in mind that limited is usually 10,000 in trainer speak) and we loved the Racer, but they're narrow and aren't for all foot shapes, like so many of Nike's past racing silhouettes. Lunars were awesome, with the sock-like feel, but they were hard to obtain. Then NikeTown was awash with Racers and Trainers, with that innovative option to seam these single strand masterpieces to fit your foot. In all honesty, they work better with a Lunarlon sole when it comes to everyday wear. That's where the Nike Flyknit One+ comes into play.
We won't lie — by now, as with Hyperfuse's move through the categories, we thought we'd have seen a Flyknit Air Max 1 or Air Flyknit Force 1. Both would have probably broken the internet, but they would undermine the progressive nature of this product. We also thought they'd be on NikeiD by now too, with insane pattern options, but that hasn't happened yet either. Instead, almost a year after the technology first went on sale, these will get a release, with a wider distribution than previous Flyknit drops.
These hug the ankles and are stripped down on the upper with the same lacing system we were besotted with before (this really feels like a Flyknit Trainer on a Lunarlon base). The sole unit's extra width means these are evidently created as an alternative to the Racer for those of us with a wider foot and slightly different running needs and while the base isn't visually dissimilar to the Nike Lunarglide+ 4's, with what feels and looks like a carrier foam and Lunarlon duo at work, we're not sure if it's the same Dynamic Support concept because we haven't had the opportunity to test them out in the running sense, seeing as we've only got the left foot.
A performance review based on hobbling around the office in one shoe would be woefully inadequate. We're assuming that they're made to cater for the non-neutral runners, but assumption is a dangerous thing and we're sure that the tech specs will emerge closer to release. We do know that these are set to retail at around £130 though, so they're not some low pricepoint inline takedown in any way, shape or form (just in case you were expecting to grab a budget variant in 2013). There's a ton of colourways of the Nike Flyknit One+ set to drop, but these blue and volt editions are a strong start and they arrive in the Crooked Tongues store early next year. An excellent looking shoe.