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Flat Knitting

Nike combines 3D knitting with 3D printing in new sports footwear range

Nike is redefining sports footwear with its new Nike Vapor Ultimate Cleat for American football which combines a 3D knitted upper with 3D printed sole plate.

10th July 2014

Knitting Industry
 |  Beaverton, OR

Sports/​Activewear, Technical Textiles

Nike is yet again breaking new ground in sports footwear with the introduction of its new Nike Vapor Ultimate Cleat American football boot, which combines its proprietary flat knitted Flyknit technology and game-changing 3D printed carbon fibre sole plate technology for unprecedented lightweight speed and strength.

Nike Flyknit is said to be redefining basketball, running, football (soccer), and training footwear and is now set to defines the next generation of footwear on the gridiron with the new Nike Vapor Ultimate football cleat.

Nike Vapor Ultimate Cleat American football boot

Designed for dynamic athletic strength and force, the new cleat combines Nike's most innovative plate and traction technology with advanced upper technology in the form of Nike Flyknit. As football gets faster and more physical, Nike says, so do the athletes. According to the company, stronger and more agile, football athletes at every position are continuing to push the game to new limits just as Nike continues to push the limits of innovation.

“Nike Flyknit creates a “second skin” feel around the foot, providing a more responsive fit while dialling up the sensation of movement and interaction with the ground. Combined with Nike’s latest game-changing cleat plate, the Nike Vapor Ultimate becomes a true extension of the foot, designed to allow the athlete to make faster split-second movements on the field without compromise,” the Oregon sportswear giant said in a statement.

The new cleat is said to deliver lightweight durability, lock-down fit, and increased awareness of the body’s movements to meet the pressures of the game and create Nike’s fastest game cleat yet.

Lightweight strength engineered for the forces of football

Nike Flyknit debuted with the Nike Flyknit Racer in 2012 and more recently in the KOBE 9 Elite basketball shoe, and Nike Magista and Nike Mercurial Superfly soccer boots at this summer’s FIFA Worl Cup in Brazil.

The revolutionary technology defies conventional shoe manufacturing processes by creating an engineered one-piece upper that knits lightweight strength and durability directly into the footwear.

Nike Vapor Ultimate Cleat American football boot

For American football, a new Nike Skin overlay material works in concert with the Flyknit, providing additional durability, strength, and protection in high-impact areas. Flywire cables, wrapping the arch of the foot, are also laid directly into the knit fabric to create a full one-piece upper engineered for strength and durability. The dynamic fit augments the natural motion of the Carbon V-plate.

“We’ve created a cleat that can withstand the forces generated by today’s athletes on the football field,” said Ken Link, Nike Football Cleated Design Director.

“Flywire and Nike Flyknit combine to create a second-skin, sock-like fit that adapts to each individual player’s foot as well as to his style of play. Our most innovative upper combines with our most revolutionary, proven football plate technology to help athletes perform at the highest level.”

Designed for multidirectional speed

While the 40-yard dash is championed as football’s defining speed metric, the game itself is all about multidirectional acceleration, Nike explains. The Nike Vapor Ultimate incorporates the Carbon V-Plate that debuted on the Nike Vapor Carbon 2014 Elite.

The Carbon V-plate is the culmination of intense athlete-driven research into football-specific speed, and the first plate inspired by, and developed from, Nike’s 3-D printing and testing facilities—accelerating development and testing timelines, pushing faster innovation and supporting faster athletes.

Nike Vapor Ultimate Cleat American football

“3-D printing (SLS) revolutionized the way we design cleat plates – even beyond football,” said Link. “The process gives Nike the ability to accelerate innovation and create solutions that were not possible within the constraints of traditional manufacturing processes.”

The groundbreaking studs on the Nike Vapor Ultimate are designed for zero-slip traction in both acceleration and breaking. The pattern allows for optimal ignition off the back foot, hitting the precision cuts to avoid a tackle, and the explosive propulsion required to make a critical catch. At the forefoot of the plate, an aggressive tri-star traction system allows for more confident movement overall.

The Nike Vapor Ultimate achieves the perfect balance of durability, power and speed. It is a cleat born from precision engineering, incorporating innovative technologies designed to match the forces generated by football’s new breed of athletes.

Further reading

Maracanã beckons for knitted football boots as Magista and Mercurial make World Cup debut

Nike launches Magista football boot with Flyknit technology

Nike KOBE 9 Elite basketball shoe with Flyknit technology

Read more articles about Nike Flyknit

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