stoll-knitting-sneakers-interview3
Highsnobiety

Occasionally, a new advent comes along that flips the footwear industry on its head.

Credit is due to innovations like Reebok PUMP, adidas Boost, Nike Air, ASICS GEL, and others for creating a competitive industry ecosystem in which brands are constantly looking to one-up each other. In 2012, Nike arrived at the London 2012 Summer Olympics with something new that would go on to define research and development for many footwear brands in following years. This innovation was Flyknit, a textile that was subsequently and widely imitated by competitors, including adidas Primeknit, PUMA evoKNIT, Reebok Ultraknit, and many more.

"Volt"-colored Nike Flyknit footwear was effortlessly discernible on the feet of athletes like Mo Farah who donned eye-catching neon track spikes. These first Flyknit shoes that debuted at the London Olympics were created using only a few dozen flat-knitting machines purchased from a German company called Stoll. In addition to the performance track footwear, Nike Flyknit Trainer and Flyknit Racer sneakers were given to athletes to wear on the podium and during the opening ceremony. The shoes were gifted to Nike athletes, also done up in Nike's signature "Volt" colorway, featuring "USA" stitched into the tongue. In addition to standing out on television screens across the world, these new Flyknit shoes were far lighter, and offered a new set of performance qualities unparalleled by shoes with traditional leather uppers.

This set the stage for Nike Flyknit to become one of the brand's most successful proprietaries ever, and eventually the knitted tech made its way into a wide range of lifestyle and performance products like footwear and apparel.

Stoll is a 145-year-old company based outside of Stuttgart, Germany, and today is a leader in flat-knitting machine technology. While many may be most familiar with knitted textiles in the context of footwear, Stoll machinery is also used to create products for the automotive, sports, fashion, and other industries. Not only does Stoll manufacture and sell their machines to brands like Nike, they also provide training and support to any company that purchases their machines.

We visited Stoll to speak with Martin Legner, the company's Head of Technical Textile Applications, to better understand flat-knitting and knitted sneakers.

To stay updated on everything happening in the sneaker world, follow @Highsnobietysneakers on Instagram, check our sneaker release date calendar and subscribe to our sneaker chatbot on Facebook to receive lightning quick updates to your inbox.

What To Read Next

*If you submitted your e-mail address and placed an order, we may use your e-mail address to inform you regularly about similar products without prior explicit consent. You can object to the use of your e-mail address for this purpose at any time without incurring any costs other than the transmission costs according to the basic tariffs. Each newsletter contains an unsubscribe link. Alternatively, you can object to receiving the newsletter at any time by sending an e-mail to info@highsnobiety.com

Web Accessibility Statement

Titelmedia (Highsnobiety), is committed to facilitating and improving the accessibility and usability of its Website, www.highsnobiety.com. Titelmedia strives to ensure that its Website services and content are accessible to persons with disabilities including users of screen reader technology. To accomplish this, Titelmedia has engaged UsableNet Inc, a leading web accessibility consultant to help test, remediate and maintain our Website in-line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which also bring the Website into conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Disclaimer

Please be aware that our efforts to maintain accessibility and usability are ongoing. While we strive to make the Website as accessible as possible some issues can be encountered by different assistive technology as the range of assistive technology is wide and varied.

Contact Us

If, at any time, you have specific questions or concerns about the accessibility of any particular webpage on this Website, please contact us at accessibility@highsnobiety.com, +49 (0)30 235 908 500. If you do encounter an accessibility issue, please be sure to specify the web page and nature of the issue in your email and/or phone call, and we will make all reasonable efforts to make that page or the information contained therein accessible for you.