A woven upper is common of trainers in the contemporary fashion industry and whilst it might seem like a brand new idea, there is actually a hint of retro about it too.
The Adidas ZX 500 is arguably the key product in this field and although it is a new release this year, it was first designed by the brand in 1984 and aimed at primarily a running audience as opposed to the fashion one it has been picked up by today. It is not the only trainer to experience this same fate, more recently we have seen the Nike Free Run’s become a strong presence outside of the athletics medium. The trend has been embraced by other brands who have now strived to achieve the same success with either their retro runners or lightweight sports shoes; both have an affiliation with contemporary urban youth style.
Most designs in this range come with an EVA mid-sole which translates to anybody outside of the trainer industry as being a polymer with second-to-none resistant qualities, taking the stress off joints and muscles when a wearer uses shoe fitted with it and providing high quality comfort. Despite the name, it isn’t the middle of the shoe but rather the material between the out-sole and the upper which is in this case the woven material. The weave itself has clear breath-ability benefits to the wearer and these factors together are what made the shoe such a hit in the running world. It has seen a less orthodox introduction to the world of fashion however, but people have found there are no limits to when a pair of lightweight runners can be worn, jeans, shorts and in some occasions a shirt and blazer, you name it- all of these items can be fitted into the same ensemble as a pair of Nike Free Run 2’s for example.
The difference between today’s and yesteryear’s woven trainers is that they now get constructed in a much more robust way. The upper has absolutely no stitching and is all one body in most brands latest version, meaning no more tearing from the lower or wearing at the seams in the style of a classic running shoe, this is prominent on the newly redesigned ZX 500. The style is a clean and simple statement and is adaptable to the tastes of many different people.
To give credit to Adidas, they intelligently thought to combine their best-selling new technology (weave) with one of their most iconic silhouettes (ZX 500) and the simplistic idea has brought the results to go with it as it now has the status as one of fashions must-have new “sneakers”. The model has landed at Mainline Menswear in a choice of two colours: Navy and “Sol Blue”. Each design has a D-shaped eyelet and a suede heel cap to add a further originality to the release, both are a perfect choice of summer footwear and will suit outfits such as these below.
Nike’s competing silhouette in the weave trend market comes in the form of the Roshe Run and Free Runs. These differ in that they have a multi-layered upper to try to combat the sturdiness of the all-in-one upper of the Adidas model. The Roshe Run Hyperfuse is Nike’s answer to that design; it uses heat and pressure to mould each part of the shoe together- therefore eliminating the use of stitches and in theory creating a much sturdier shoe. The Roshe Run itself is aimed at creating clean lines and simplicity in terms of aesthetic style and its streamlined look along with a bare-foot freedom feel is designed to cover many bases from walking, running or just leisure, equally it should be free to wear with or without socks and dressed up or down to either preference.
To highlight the extent of weave’s prominence in contemporary fashion, the mesh material which it often uses has transferred to become a feature of other popular garments. Mesh or woven t-shirts, vests shorts and caps are all common features of luxury sport attire which is said to originate from American college sport. Nike and Adidas have been the most forceful advocates of this up and coming trend but there are examples at Mainline Menswear that this trend is a little wider reaching within fashion than just these two sports footwear brands. The Lacoste Sport trainer encompasses the weave technology and similar to the Roshe Run it has very clean lines and an understated colouring to allow it to make the smooth transition from sportswear to fashionable clothing.
It isn’t just sport-orientated brands that have given this style a go, “lifestyle” brands such as Creative Recreation and Cruyff Trainers have used this same principle to steer away from vintage running and instead create a luxury trainer of the same woven material. Take a look below, or alternatively view the weave footwear collection at Mainline Menswear here.