There’s a distinct lack of innovation to be found with the latest running footwear. It’s quite tough to find a light running shoe, which also offers excellent support. Often those two variables do not go hand in hand.
It’s also tough to find a flat soled shoe ideal for CrossFit, which is also suitable for a run. Although we’re big supporters of the NOBULL brand, you wouldn’t want to run too far on a hard surface with their flat soled trainers.
All sportswear manufacturers have their own research and development department and Reebok is no different with their Innovation Collective, which is an open-source project in association with other collaborators. Reebok themselves describe this department as “together, the Reebok brand and key collaborators are developing footwear and apparel that delivers the next generation of performance and expression.”
It’s the forthcoming Flexweave that’s of interest to ourselves. The Flexweave technology uses an open figure-eight construction that allows for as few strands of fibre as desired for each portion of a garment or shoe upper. What it does, is stretch as required to support the runner, when moving around.
You can find the first version of the Flexweave technology introduced this January (2018) in the latest version of the Nano 8, which is Reebok’s CrossFit trainer. The Flexweave enables the trainer to be light for running, yet retain the upper support required for the user to rely on for squatting and training where the shoe requires stability.
The first running shoe, the Fast Runner drops with Flexweave on 1 February 2018, on the Reebok website.
What’s most interesting is that Reebok has invited designers to see what they can develop using the new Flexweave technology. This includes a pair of light running gloves, from Joe Doucet, which includes GPS technology, whilst lights built into the gloves light up to show the direction a runner should take, live, when on a run.
Keep one eye on the Reebok website for future Flexweave updates and releases.