The Sneaker Drop: Three Nike Reissues To Look Out For This June
Illustrations by Mr Ben Lamb
At a juncture when many of us would be thinking about slowing down, or frantically speeding up according to the health of our pension plan, Nike will be entering its sixth decade at the top of its game. Or should that be games? The Beaverton, Oregon sportswear giant excels in every single one of the many sports it competes in, from athletics to basketball, thanks to a cutting-edge R&D department that’s constantly chasing the next big thing in sneaker design. It is, however, Nike’s innovative approach to reissues that keeps the sneakerhead crowd in raptures. Below, three models from the brand’s archive that have still got what it takes – all available on MR PORTER in the coming weeks.
Air Max 97 Bred by Nike
Up there with brunch and Bennifer in the list of our favourite portmanteaus is Bred, the successful marriage of black and red. It’s been a Nike trademark ever since the first iteration of Mr Michael Jordan’s signature shoe – the brand famously stumped up for the $5,000 fine levied by the NBA for the rule-breaking colourway every time it was worn on court during the 1984-1985 season. Already a striking shoe in its own right, last year, Lil Nas X harnessed the dark side of the Air Max 97 with his Satan bootleg. And while Nike’s official dark prince stops short of filling its sole with human blood – Bled might be a better mangle of words – it taps into the rebellious nature of the OG Jordan.
Air Kukini SE Lemon Venom by Nike
Once, the year 2000 seemed like the distant future. And perhaps thanks to the Air Kukini – Nike’s maverick slip-on shoe, first released that year – it always will be. Something of a forgotten sneaker cul-de-sac, this triathlon runner from the brand’s innovative Alpha Project has only been sporadically spotted since its launch. Along the years, it has been tweaked by Junya Watanabe (garnering a cult following in Japan in the process) and revamped first with Velcro straps, then a Nike Free sole. This reissue sees order (if you can call it that) restored, with the original TPU cage and Air Max cushioning unit. What is new is the natty gradient Lemon Venom colourway, which sounds somewhere between comic-book supervillain and dessert.
Dunk Low NH Cacao Wow by Nike
From its original deployment on the basketball courts of the mid-1980s to its second life on the half pipe, Nike’s Dunk has always been as much about form as function. It was designed as a canvas for college colours on US campuses, and since being adopted by the skating fraternity, it has been reimagined in a bewildering array of guises, drawing inspiration from sources as unlikely as fairy tales, horror films and beer. This latest concoction has a natural world spin, borrowing tones from seed of the cocoa tree across the heel and toe box, with a rich green backdrop and teal details – including, yes, beads.