I recently received a package from One Bowerman Drive, Beaverton.
For those not in the know that’s Nike World HQ, inside was the latest addition to the Huarache family the Huarache E.D.G.E. The first shoe to my knowledge under the E.D.G.E banner, I’ll touch on this more later but I thought I’d lightly cover some background on the Huarache family itself.
The Huarache has had an up and down history, designed by Nike’s most fabled designer Tinker Hatfield who as we know has brought some beautiful pairs into existence but with the Huarache he struggled, board members, execs or whoever was calling the shots had mixed opinions on the shoe and Tinker really had to fight to push it out of concept and into reality.
Thankfully he succeeded and the Huarache went on to influence many famous shoes with it’s ethos of stripping to the bare essentials and innovative use of neoprene to create a hug-like fit.
I’ve always had a affinity for the model, between 2010-2011 I was obsessed with tracking down my favourite colours and special editions, from Stüssy to ACG I’d trawl eBay, forums and events for that rare size US12, a rule of thumb for those buying older editions is to go up one full size due to a very snug fit.
Time passed and the models popularity grew to momentous proportions.
Around May 2012 Footlocker sparked the hype by silently putting a new Black/Tour-Yellow LE on shelves, it had been 5 years since we’d had a fresh dose of colour on the shoe and fans were primed and ready.
Now at this time I was working footwear events and I got to see first hand the madness this shoe caused. Sellers who filled there tables with Huarache’s would leave with pockets bursting with cash, businesses to find, sell and customises the shoe were setup overnight and pre-orders on eBay for pairs that hadn’t even dropped ran into their hundreds.
But all good things must come to an end and with increasing awareness and availability the trend trickles down to the masses and once that happens the early adopters want nothing to do with it.
What was once scarce, was now everywhere and that’s when the bubble burst and people moved on, the Huarache’s reputation was tarnished.
Now fast forward to 2018 and there has been some murmurings around the Huarache and what to do with the hallowed but hurt franchise next, to test the water Nike dropped an absolutely amazing retro of the “Purple Punch” so good that it caused a big buzz among collectors, myself even ended up buying three pairs.
That was beautifully put together and well-thoughtout drop so I was rather excited when this package arrived containing Huarache E.D.G.E expecting more of the same care and attention as the aforementioned OG, but this was a different beast and it spoke to me on a personal level.
Inside the box was a written note with a question that I’m assuming Nike had asked either employees or kids - “IS THERE ANYTHING WE CAN DO FROM NIKE TO HELP IMPROVE ANY COMMUNITIES?” an answer was provided by Alexis Taylor, Los Angeles as follows:
“This is more of an overall statement but tailor products and events to the more everyday kid/family more than the wealthy hypebeast kids. If more affordable sneakers/apparel are showcased like the super expensive ones, kids/families who can’t afford the expensive sneakers/apperal may not feel like an outcast or get picked on for getting the cheaper shoes because they’re advertised almost on the level that a super expensive product is advertised”
With Nike replying:
“A SOLUTION: THE HUARACHE E.D.G.E (EVERYDAY DESIGN GOT AND EVOLUTION) AT $100 & $110”
That’s the core of the E.D.G.E, that is a cheaper more affordable product with better design, marketing and endorsement, not everyone can afford $300 sneakers so it’s nice to see Nike giving focus to the other end of the spectrum, I know it’s all money at the end of the day that’s going in the same pot but if a few kids can feel fresh, more confident without there family having to keep up with the constant rising price of fitting in at school, well I think that’s a good thing.