What Makes Adidas Primeknit Special?
Over the last nine years, Adidas has been making their shoes with an advanced material called Primeknit.
Many people wonder what makes this material so special. Is it really as durable as Adidas claims, or is it more of a marketing ploy?
I am here to tell you everything you ever wanted to know about this material, so you can decide if it is worth all the hype or something you will decide to pass on.
What Is Primeknit?
Sneakers can be made of all sorts of materials, including leather, plastics, and fabrics.
Adidas wanted to bring something new to the industry that was more flexible, breathable, and comfortable to wear.
On July 27th, 2012, the first pair of Adidas sneakers made with Primeknit were released. For nine years, the company has worked to change the way people wear sneakers.
Unlike other sneaker uppers, that are pieced together, Adidas Primeknit is a single piece of woven fabric.
This makes the shoe slip over your foot, much like a sock. Adidas uses fused yarns, allowing them to create different levels of flexibility and support with their Primeknit fabric.
Is Nike’s Flynit and Adidas’ Primeknit the Same?
While at first glance the two types of materials seem very similar in appearance, some key differences set Nike’s Flynit and Adidas’ Primeknit apart.
As previously mentioned, Primeknit is a single piece of woven material.
To add support to specific areas, heat is applied to the woven material, causing the fibers to begin to melt and fuse, creating a web-like texture.
Nike’s Flynit involves the placement of stronger fibers in strategic areas of the shoe, where extra support is required.
Nike has applied their Flynit to various shoes in their collection, though they have not yet perfected it for basketball shoes.
Both shoes have revolutionized the market. With this new technology, both companies have successfully created amazingly lightweight, flexible shoes, while adding extra support where it is needed, without adding excess weight.
Does Primeknit Rip Easily?
If you do a quick search on the Internet, you are going to come across a handful of complaints regarding small holes developing in UltraBOOST shoes.
It would be difficult to say whether those who experienced holes in their BOOSTs did so because of manufacturing defects or because of irresponsible shoe ownership.
From my experience, the UltraBOOSTs I recently bought have been durable enough, and I have not had any rips develop.
If things do go wrong, Adidas does offer a generous warranty on all footwear. I’ve never had to use it thankfully but it’s good to know that it’s available.
While checking out Adidas’ Twitter page, you will see a couple of complaints here and there about small holes developing. No one wants to pay such a high price for shoes and then have them tear.
However, the more recent R1 NMD shoe with their more wacky color schemes have had better reviews for durability.
I have not read any complaints about rips, but the small hole issue is enough to make some people a little weary about purchasing Primeknit shoes.
Again, I have not had any problems with mine, though I am careful when I wear them and for what activities.
Does Primeknit Shrink?
Because it is fabric, many people want to know if Primeknit will shrink.
Under normal wear, this will not happen. If your sneakers become dirty, this is where you may run into a problem.
Some people have attempted to dry their Primeknit Adidas sneakers and found out they can shrink a little in the dryer.
When exposed to the high levels of heat in the dryer, the fabric material somewhat shrinks and could cause your shoes to become a little tighter.
The best way I found to clean my Primeknit sneakers and prevent them from shrinking if the dirt is minimal, you can spot clean the areas with a damp cloth and allow them to air dry.
If your sneakers are dirty and smelly, and they need to be washed in the machine, make sure you wash them with nothing else. Use the gentle cycle, cold temperature, and put the shoes in a pillowcase before starting the washing machine.
Once your sneakers are washed, stuff them with wadded-up paper towels. This does two things. First, it helps them to keep their shape as they are drying. Secondly, it helps to absorb some of the moisture and makes them dry faster.
Does Primeknit Stretch Over Time?
When people begin talking about purchasing Primeknit shoes, they often want to know about the stretch factor. This material is marketed as being much like a sock, which gives and stretches to accommodate your feet.
Yes, the fabric is stretchy, giving you plenty of comfort and flexibility. Although the fabric is stretchy, that does not mean it will stretch too much and become too loose.
If you bought a pair of BOOSTs and found they were a little too tight in some areas, you are likely going to find the material does not stretch out too much over time. While scouring the Internet for answers to this question I could not find any major complaints regarding the Primeknit material stretching out over time.
How Durable Is Primeknit?
I had a lot of expectations for Primeknit when I first got my pair.
To be honest, I picked them up more for the look than what they offered in materials.
When I first started looking into Primeknit, I was a little concerned the fabric would be too thin and would end up ripping or breaking down on me.
When I first got my BOOSTs, I was overly careful with them. I had paid quite a lot of money for this pair, and I did not want to get them dirty or worry about the Primeknit snagging.
One of the first things I noticed about Primeknit is that it is not as flimsy as I had thought.
The fabric is a lot thicker and more substantial than I first believed when I saw them. I was honestly thinking they were going to feel a lot thinner.
When I first started wearing them, I was not sure if I was going to like the feel. I was not accustomed to the “hugging” sensation I was feeling in the toe box.
I suppose I had grown used to traditional leather uppers that seemingly gave me more room in the toe area.
The fabric is very stretchy, but not overly so. It is difficult to explain until you have put on a pair of sneakers made with Primeknit. You expect this real cloth-like feeling, and you get that, but with added strength.
After wearing my sneakers for a few weeks, I one day realized I had grown accustomed to the way they feel. The fabric gives with you but has enough strength that you do not feel like your feet are giving way.
The more comfortable I became wearing my Primeknit sneakers, the more activities I wore them in. I even wore them playing some casual basketball and took them on a run or two.
These are not the shoes for hiking or going over rough terrain. They are also not good shoes for working in a dangerous environment. What they are perfect for is everyday wear and exercise.
I have had my Primeknit sneakers for several months now, and they look just as good as when I bought them. As I stated above, I have not experienced any holes or rips in the fabric, though I did not put them through abuse either.
My final thoughts on Primeknit:
Primeknit is like Nike’s Flynit, but there are noticeable differences. After months of wearing my shoes on an almost daily basis, I can easily say they have held up well. There are no rips or holes, even in the toe box area, where some have complained of seeing them.
If you are accustomed to wearing leather uppers, these shoes are going to feel different at first. Thankfully, it does not take long to get used to wearing them, and then you will never want to go back to another material.
Be careful to choose your size. If you have heard Primeknit stretches out over time and are expecting a smaller shoe to get bigger, it will not happen. The rubber sole prevents that from happening too much, along with the durability of the fabric upper.
Adidas Primeknit offered a big change to the sneaker world. Now, we are seeing many big names in shoes creating similar fabrics for their uppers.
As long as you care for these shoes properly, the Primeknit should hold up well, without snagging or ripping.
The lightweight feel and breathability will surprise you, and this fabric is meant to stay intact for many wears, without breaking down.
Should you have problems with the fabric or any other aspect of Adidas shoes, they offer a twelve-month warranty, so keep that in mind.
Now that I have found these sneakers are durable, I plan on purchasing another pair. I am glad I was willing to give them a chance finally and overcome some of my hesitancy because they have now become one of my favorite pairs of shoes.