Inspiration for the complex design of the ACG.07.KMTR, the latest version of NikeLab’s all-conditions shoe and the first iteration of the new Nike Komyuter silhouette, came in the form of a brown paper bag. It’s a prime example of how sophisticated solutions can stem from straightforward, functional suggestions.
A proposition for increased access and ease led designers to place a bag around a foot and scrunch it to form the shape of a shoe. This simple act informed an inventive outcome: facilitating the metamorphosis of a single-piece upper from a wide-open entry to a supportive closed state would result in a new performance silhouette.
Ultimately, the designers fashioned the ACG.07.KMTR with a four-way stretch water-resistant upper shell that conforms to the foot through an integrated draw cord and stabilizes via a forefoot strap equipped with a Fidlock magnetic buckle. Though the structure of the system is complex in its build, it’s incredibly simple in its use: unbuckle and open the shoe, insert foot and pull the cord. Voilà!
‘This shoe is water resistant, light, flexible, easy to put on, has great traction and introduces a new aesthetic,’ says Nike NSW footwear designer, Gerald Sullivan. ‘Moreover, it reduces functional elements to bare necessity — one doesn’t need the distractions of complicated entry and lockdown systems when moving around the city.’
The ACG.07.KMTR was created for all-day urban wear in a range of environments. This includes flash rains and temperature shifts, and everything from hard concrete sidewalks to a variety of indoor floorings. It also takes into account that the wearer could easily cover more ground over the course of a day’s action than an elite athlete does in a training session.
Therein lies the complexity: in order to facilitate a shoe with high function and high comfort, translating the brown paper bag to high performance is something akin to a science experiment.
‘We trialed a number of closure systems, and I began thinking about how a parachute unfurls and wondered how that might operate in reverse. Ultimately what worked best was pulling the cord through the shoe via a single hinge. This act molds the bag-like upper into form,’ explains Sullivan. ‘Secondary lockdown is achieved through the magnetic buckle, which is not only low profile, but adds a distinct panache to the shoe’s form.’
The ACG.07.KMTR’s function guides its stance. The upper transforms from its loose, open state into a sleek, fast silhouette that marries gracefully to a full-rubber bottom with wet traction lugs. Compositionally, this build simultaneously conveys comfort in speed and a readiness to take on anything. Reflective hits on the logo and welding seams help ensure the all-day, all-challenges equipment is balanced with requisite safety features. As a full package, it is a far cry from a brown paper bag.
The ACG.07.KMTR launches May 18 on NikeLab.com and at NikeLab retail locations. The Nike Komyuter silhouette will release in a variety of colorways through summer ’17.