Lifting legend, artist, actor, icon.
Kai Greene has spent his whole life subverting stereotypes and categorization.
From the Brooklyn projects to becoming a three time Arnold classic winner, Kai is a testament to the power of your thoughts in changing your reality, and achieving what others deem impossible.
‘Thoughts become things’ is the mantra Kai has channeled into the design of the Kai Greene Flylyte, a limited edition lifting shoe which, like Kai, is defined by versatility.
On the eve of the release of the Kai Greene x Ryderwear Flylyte, we sat down with Kai to get the lowdown on his latest lifting shoes, and how they can help lifters take their training to the next level.
RW: Not only are you a bodybuilding icon, but you’re also an artist. Where does the Flylyte rank in Kai Greene’s list of masterpieces?
Kai: Right up there with the D-Mak! I’ve really invested my heart and soul into this shoe, obviously making sure it’s the best lifting shoe in the game, but also making sure it’s the best reflection of Kai Greene, and my journey.
I’ve come from being a young man living in the projects on the streets of Brooklyn, stepping over people on drugs sleeping in the staircase every day, to climbing to the summit of the bodybuilding mountain, now to releasing my third signature shoe with Ryderwear. To me, that’s the essence of the Flylyte. It’s a shoe created to inspire people to better themselves, to take control of their destiny, to change their reality. It’s a shoe created to be there every step of the way during that journey.
RW: Back in 2017 you collaborated with Ryderwear to release the Kai Greene D-Mak. What’s the difference between that shoe and the Flylyte?
Kai: The D-Mak was created to be the ultimate lifting shoe for hardcore bodybuilders. Wearing the D-Mak was like your ticket into the serious lifters society. It signified your passion, your devotion, your discipline. I created something I’d love to wear, which is why I still train in them religiously.
The D-Mak is still the ultimate lifting shoe to me, so with the Flylyte I wanted to create something entirely unique. As an artist I never paint the same picture twice. The Flylyte is more of a hybrid shoe than the D-Mak. You can wear it during heavy lifts and while you’re in pursuit of your PB’s, but it’s also perfect for more dynamic exercises like walking lunges. It’s defined by versatility. It’s an everyday shoe that you can take from the gym to the streets.
On a more technical level, it has a thicker, more shock-absorbing sole than the D-Mak which is great for high-impact training, and for a wider variety of terrains, not just rubber gym floors.
RW: What does it mean to you to be collaborating with a company like Ryderwear?
Kai: It’s such an honor to be a part of this company. In just a decade they’ve come in with the passion and inventiveness to change the game in a major way, and will continue to do so. I’m just happy to be a part of a winning team
RW: Tell us about some of the unique features of the Kai Greene Flylyte
Kai: These shoes are pure, unfiltered Kai [Laughs]. So ah, we’ve got a Velcro buckle strap and custom oval eyelets, and each pair is going to have my debossed signature at the bottom. Then how could I forget the comic book illustration on the inner sole! I was heavily involved in the process of creating these shoes, so everything you see, that’s one hundred percent me.
RW: What feature is your favourite?
Kai: The inner sole illustration, I drew it myself! You know just like when I’m training at the gym, as an artist I’m always searching for self-improvement. I’m always working on my sketches, my inks, my colouring. But I love how it’s turned out, and you know, I love sharing that artistic, creative side of who I am. There’s something really empowering about sharing parts of yourself that would otherwise be hidden.
RW: Have you always been a comic book fan?
Kai: I’ve always been an admirer of art, but not always comics. The artistic mind is something I can see expressed everywhere in life, but I didn’t come up as one of those kids that always read comic books or graphic novels. But the artist in me was always intrigued by them, and I’ve just found myself naturally drawn to them. There’s a lot of parallels between comic book universes and the world of bodybuilding. Godlike physiques, herculean feats of strength, and stories of average individuals who find the superheroes within themselves. That’s why comics really resonate with me.
RW: For all of those loyal Ryderwear fans who’ll be at the gym tomorrow in a new pair of Kai Greene Flylyte’s, what’s the best training advice you can share?
Kai: When it comes to bettering yourself, which is what we’re all doing every time we step into the gym, the mind is everything. It’s so important to focus on the now, and recognise your ability to think and act in the present. By doing that you can create the future that you want, you can make decisions that allow you to write the new narrative that will become your story, the portrait of your life.
So when you’re working out, focus on that connection between body and brain, totally immerse yourself in your training. You’ll be amazed at what your body can accomplish when there’s total synergy between mind and muscle. Thoughts really can become things, and that’s such a driving force behind everything I do.
The Kai Greene x Ryderwear Flylyte is available to shop now!