Pretty Fly (for a shoe)

Technology |  < 1 min. read

It’s tough.  It’s light.  It’s sustainably made.  It’s… “a little like baking a cake”!

And…it’s a shoe.  Yep.  Nike’s line of shoes made from Flyleather.

Flyleather is made from leather, but leather plus.  WIRED Magazine laid out the Nike formula: “…[Flyleather] combines leather scraps and polyester blend fibers.  While traditional leather-makers discard parts of the hide that are blemished or too soft and stretchy, Nike takes those pieces and grinds them into a fine dust before combining it with polyester fabric and water.  ‘It’s a little like baking a cake’ says Tony Bignell, VP of Nike’s footwear innovation.” (So yes, we are serious about that.)

If you’re a tennis player, you can pick up some Flyleather right now at the Nike shop online.  And what you get – is a shoe that Nike believes looks exactly like leather but:

  • Is 40 percent lighter
  • Is 5 times more durable
  • Uses 50 percent recycled leather
  • Uses 90 percent less water to make.
  • And looks like this.

In leather manufacturing, typically as much as a third of each cow hide can be tossed out.  Combining that scrap leather with polyester (which in turn is made using petrochemicals) – makes a smart, sustainable combination that couldn’t exist with just one or the other.  Welcome, Flyleather.