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The Story Behind the Nike Air Force 1 Ultra Flyknit

How the lightest model came to be
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Image via Nike

Image via Nike

As we previewed yesterday, even one of Nike's most storied silhouettes, the Nike Air Force 1, isn't immune to the impact of design innovation, introduced for the first time with the breathable, lightweight Flyknit material. Over 34 years since it's launch and over 2,000 iterations later, the foundational court model with legendary street status has been reimagined for the future. Led by Nike Footwear Design Director Jonathan Johnsongriffin, the Nike Sportswear team sought out a way to make the iconic model lighter and more flexible, while also enhancing its fit and reducing creasing on the toe.

Beginning with a 3D-printed prototype of the Air Force 1 sole and dark grey Flyknit, the design took shape over the course of several iterations, continuing with debossed lettering in the polyurethane tooling while also maintaining the original look of the upper for a familiar appeal. 

The result is a precisely micro-engineered Nike Air Force 1 Flyknit that maximizes comfort, minimizes weight, and maintains its classic aesthetic. In addition to being the lightest Air Force 1 ever made - about half the weight of the original - it is also the first Flyknit shoe to include a leather Swoosh logo. 

The Air Force 1 Ultra Flyknit is available now on, followed by releases January 28 on and retailers worldwide.

Release Date: 1/28/2016 (Thursday)