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Quick Hits: Flyweight Shoe Widens Nike's Footprint


Brief scrutiny of today's headlines.

Talk about a marketing coup: American track and fielders will showcase Nike's (NKE) new Flywire shoes at the Olympics.

The lightweight, see-through shoe is expected to hit US stores in October.

Its materials and design are generating a lot of chatter: The Flywire features a strong thread, called Vectran, spread out in a fan-like pattern anchored at the top and bottom of the shoe, suggesting a suspension bridge.
The new shoe is also unbelievably light, and is expected to be marketed under the names Zoom Victory Spikes and Zoom Matumbo.

Sprinter Michael Duane Johnson, holder of the world record in the 200-meter, 400-meter and 4-by-400 meter relay, ran to fame in shoes weighing 112 grams. By contrast, Nike's new Flywire shoes weigh about 67 grams per pair, or just over an ounce apiece. Johnson's shoes were designed to last one race, but the Flywire is a durable as an ordinary shoe.

Nike's new shoe is computer-designed and can thus be made completely by machine. This has some jaws wagging about production being moved back to the United States.

Nike's new shoe is sure to spark a response from competitors New Balance, Adidas and Fila Korea.

No word yet from Keds, the company who coined the word "sneakers" in 1916, because the rubber soles of its shoes made walking in them quiet.
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