One of Nike’s more unorthodox silhouettes, the Air Huarache has cemented its place among their most popular designs of all time, taking the world by storm with its chunky Air sole and snug neoprene fit.

Designed by the legendary Tinker Hatfield in 1991, the Air Huarache was the first in the Nike Huarache family to hit the sneaker scene. Stripping down to the bare essentials to create the design, Tinker also scaled back on branding when it came to the Huarache, controversially taking the focus away from the swoosh and switching it on to the technology.

Taking inspiration from the Mexican sandal with which it shares its name, the silhouette also borrowed features from water skiing boots, with direct influence from the feet-hugging nature of their neoprene inlay. With the slogan “Have you hugged your feet today?”, the Air Huarache took conventional running kicks and tossed them out of the window, creating something truly revolutionary that no one was sure was going to work.

At first, Nike were hesitant to bring the shoe to stores. Seen as highly experimental, to greenlight the silhouette straight away would’ve been a big gamble. Legend goes that a test run of Air Huarache was sold at the New York marathon in the early 90s. Participants loved the shoe so much that they demanded more, and the hype that followed gave Nike no choice but to bring the revolution to the masses.

The popularity of the Air Huarache spurred Nike to create a whole range of kicks for different purposes, with the Nike Air Flight Huarache,  Nike Air Dynamic Flight and Nike Air Trainer Huarache all finding a home on the basketball court. The game-changing tech even went on to inspire the famous Nike Air Mowabb and Air Jordan VII.

Originally built for the track, its head-turning aesthetics quickly made the Air Huarache a streetwear essential. Check out the Footasylum Huarache selection and pick up the latest colourways in men’s, women’s and kids’ sizes.