As Nike points out, the Sock Racer — which was originally released back in 1986
and geared specifically toward marathon running with a four-way stretch elastic mesh upper,
two straps for support, and a free-fitting last — “was undoubtedly ahead of its time,
paving the way for Nike innovations that would impact sport beyond running.”
Now, over three decades later, the Swoosh is bringing things full circle and adding a couple of
innovative Sock Racer-inspired technologies back into the mix. The result? The Air Sock Racer Ultra Flyknit.
Introduced earlier this month with a limited edition NikeLab treatment, the new silhouette
“brings the innovations of the original shoe into the present” with the addition of a Flyknit upper for
an improved fit and added breathability while a lighter Ultra outsole pairs dual-density foam tooling
and a Free-inspired sipe pattern with top-loaded air cushioning in the heel.
The straps have even been tweaked a bit and are thicker than those of the original to provide both medial and lateral support and
keep the wearer’s foot from shifting too far forward.