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Product Focus: The Nike Air Huarache

November 27, 2014

In light of the recently released ‘Umber Brown’ and ‘Dark Grey’ Air Huarache releases here at Urban Industry, we take a closer look at the popular silhouette and a bit of history behind the design.

The Nike Air Huarache is a renewed best seller that has been the subject of multiple re-issues, OG colour renditions and premium upgrades. Arguably one the most popular running silhouette of all time, you cant go 10 minutes walking down the street without seeing a pair.

Something that many do not know is that if it wasn’t for some clever marketing and careful product placement, we could have been living in a world without the Air Huarache. Love or hate the bold silhouette, this breakthrough design has gone on to inspire many classic styles since and was the first to hold some of the most sought after running technology.

Down to poor pre-order sales based on the sample, the shoes production was at one point cancelled. However one of Nike’s marketers at the time decided to get 5,000 pairs made and took the shoe to New York marathon, selling them guerilla style. A high-risk strategy that would see the shoe sell out after two days and lead to an order of half a million the following year.

Nike Huarache press advert

The revolutionary lightweight runner debuted in 1991 and is one of the earliest examples of Nike stripping back a shoe to its bare essentials and even more notably scaling back on the iconic Swoosh logo. The thought behind this minimal approach was simple, Tinker Hatfield (the shoes designer) wanted the shoe’s technology to speak for itself rather than focus around the aesthetic. With its exoskeleton design, exposed foam midsole and thermoplastic heel strap, the Air Huarache was as pure as they come for performance silhouettes.

The shoes name derives from a Native American sandal design that is favored by minimalist runners, as it allows for natural foot movement. The Huarache’s iconic neoprene sock liner that is contained within the shoes upper is borrowed from water skiing footwear, which are designed for stability. The material in the sock liner stretches with movement, hugging the foot as the shoes expands and collapses offering unrivaled comfort, hence Nike’s classic print advert tagline ‘HAVE YOU HUGGED YOUR FOOT TODAY’

Nike Huarache press advert

Despite a bit of a lull in the mid to late 90’s, the Air Huaraches resurgence of late, since it first re-issued back in 2000, has gone from strength to strength. Other companies have tried, but no one has done it quite like Nike and the Air Huarache. It’s technologies are still to be admired today, and its considered, unqiue design makes the Huarache a top choice for both athletes and sneaker lovers alike.

The Nike Air Huarache’s latest rendition sees smooth premium suede overlays stitched to the shoes tonal Nylon base on the upper. Arriving in two seasonal colour ways of ‘Umber Brown’ and ‘Dark Grey’, with both shoes featuring a contrasting white midsole and matching outsole. The Air Huarache’s neoprene inner sock, heel brace and famous heel branding remain, so comfort and stability is guaranteed.

After a few shaky months in Air Huarache design, I think its safe to say that with this seasonal release, the level of quality and consideration to detail is well and truly back. The Nike Air Huarache Umber Brown and Dark Grey are available now here.