five ways the NIKE air vapormax 2020 flyknit incorporates circular design

one of NIKE’s most sustainable shoes to date, the NIKE air vapormax 2020 flyknit is made with at least fifty percent recycled content by weight. this designation is achieved through a creative implementation of circular design principles in the shoe’s varied elements. NIKE product design lead jesi small comments: ‘we wanted to look at not only NIKE’s waste stream but other industrial waste streams and how we could leverage that content. we let that drive a lot of the decision-making.’ with the NIKE air vapormax 2020 flyknit, the design team lays out five implemented methods of circular design.

nike air vapormax flyknit
all images courtesy of NIKE



NIKE’s first full-length vapormax air unit is made with about 75 percent recycled material. with the implementation of a singular, tapered NIKE air unit from heel to toe, which creates a lower profile than previous vapormax iterations, the 2020 installment sees enhanced comfort and an enhanced ride. the vapormax air unit operates as an uncaged and holistic outsole which maintains its form through elasticity. since 2008, all air sole innovations contain at least 50 percent recycled material.

nike air vapormax flyknit



the recycled flyknit yarn is made from about 67 percent post-industrial recycled content by weight. in addition, the flyknit yarn is fabricated from such components as recycled plastic bottle waste.

nike air vapormax flyknit



the molded dual-density ortholite sockliner is made from about 50 percent recycled content. this element amplifies underfoot comfort while the tongue features at least 80 percent recycled foam.

nike air vapormax flyknit



TPU on the heel clip and toe tip contains about 60 percent recycled TPU. TPU, or thermoplastic polyurethane, defines a class of plastics with properties including elasticity and transparency. this method of fabrication generates a unique swirling effect for added attention-grabbing appeal.

nike air vapormax flyknit



with an outsole incorporating NIKE grind, the NIKE air vapormax 2020 flyknit pounds the pavement with sustainable materials from sole to tip. ‘NIKE grind’ sees materials created from NIKE’s recycled surplus manufacturing materials and athletic footwear.

nike air vapormax flyknit   



the NIKE air vapormax 2020 flyknit brings to life a new all-day, everyday shoe that advances the thinking about fit, feel and ride — and raises the bar in balancing sustainability and innovation for everyday wear. jesi small continues: ‘we wanted to make a sustainably-sourced silhouette from the ground up, and one that is quick and easy to put on and wear daily. that’s why we also innovated around ease of entry, exit and lockdown to design a smarter and better-designed shoe for all athletes.


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five ways the NIKE air vapormax 2020 flyknit incorporates circular design

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