The Winter Olympics officially started on Thursday, February 6, and the Opening Ceremony took place on Friday. The Winter Games, however, doesn't have many, if any, events for sneakerheads to get excited about. Which is why it's the perfect platform for Nike to further its rule over the sneaker kingdom.
Nike doesn't have huge plans for Sochi, as far as footwear is concerned. It has put out a killer apparel collection - that includes sweatshirts, Destroyer jackets, Aeroloft down jackets, and one of the slickest hockey jerseys ever made for the U.S. Olympic Hockey Team. But Nike has only released two pairs of footwear for Sochi, and they're both great.
On Friday, Nike released both the Flyknit Trainer Chukka FSB and the LunarTerra Arktos for Sochi, and has ensured that the U.S. Olympians will be the best dressed at the Games.
The LunarTerra Arktos is a newer silhouette, but is more important from an aesthetic standpoint, as the boot has a removable bootie with stars all-over and "USA" on the tongue. But the real gem is the Flyknit.
The Olympics, in general, are the center of athletic innovation. It's ultimate expo for sports. And Nike has taken footwear without a real athletic purpose, the Flyknit Trainer Chukka FSB, and introduced the world to the newest iteration of Flyknit: one weaved from wool.
What separates this sneaker from the usual Flyknit Chukka isn't just its upper, but the sole that it sits on, too. The Winter Olympics are no joke. And although Sochi is a warmer climate than most of us expected, the U.S. Olympians came ready for the worst of conditions. The Free-like sole on the Chukka is adopted from the SFB, the Special Field Boot, and borrows the technology to give better grip on snowy and icy surfaces.
The newest Flyknit dropped on Nike.com, but the pair that Nike decided to release to the general public doesn't have USA branding on the tongue or on the insole. The sneakers were made for U.S. Olympians to wear as they received their medals on the podium, and this is more of a reason for sneakerheads to tune into the Sochi Games and peep the athletes' feet - even if you don't know who they are.
They'll all be wearing, essentially, PEs that we only wish we could purchase.
Although the Flyknit Trainer Chukkas might just be another Nike sneaker, it's likely it could be a tipping point for people to wear the usually airy technology year round. Nike first debuted Flyknit at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, and 2013 was, literally, the Year of the Flyknit. With winter dwindling It's unlikely that the brand will release anymore options of the wool Flyknit this season. But if 2013 can be used as a barometer - next winter, we're all going to be laced in Flyknits that aren't afraid of February mornings.