Nike Basketball’s releases over the past 20 years represent the definition and redefinition of the hoops shoe. A 20-year work-in-progress. In 1992, the Nike Air Flight Huarache was born.
“If the shoe fits in with other things that are going on culturally, you get a perfect storm.” – Tinker Hatfield
The Nike Air Flight Huarache’s aesthetic swagger was in what it stripped away. A swoosh? No need for one — it’s not like this shoe could have been made by any other brand. That Dynamic Fit, exoskeleton, leather and neoprene combined to make this one of the purest expressions of performance to date.
While a maverick team — led by intuitionist Tinker Hatfield, and assisted by Eric Avar — worked behind the scenes to translate the Huarache running technology to the courts, it took a crew of collegiate game-changers to give the Nike Air Flight Huarache an extra ascent in terms of publicity.
If the sport’s style leaders were dressing from the feet up, the Huarache was an instruction to those shorts to relax a little, because this shoe had it under control.
As the seam length of the shorts lengthened, the Huarache countered with a reductionist school of thought — “Where can we just trim this baby back a little bit?” Tinker asked, because that minimal upper needed to be complemented by an equally stripped-down sole. That leads to the eternal question: which came first – this rebel shoe like no other, eclipsing a previous decade of bulk, or basketball’s completely new attitude and aesthetic?
This shoe would have caused a storm either way, urging those from as far away as the nose bleeds to ask, “What was that?”