itwonlast

Nike’s first and ahead-of-its-time foray into minimalist racing flats, the 1985-1987 Sock Racer (re-released in 2005) —and the slightly less radical Sock Trainer — designed by Bruce Kilgore. The sock made from an elastic mesh fabric used in the women’s girdle industry— and originally sourced by Nike for the production of running tights— was slapped on a full-length air polyurethane sole, straps and nylon closures were added to dial in the fit and to add some much needed support. A New York Magazine article from August 1985 goes: Described as “tights for the feet” by Nike product manager Tom Hartge , the black and yellow slipperlike Sock Racers are designed to simulate the freedom of running barefoot. However, Hartge has few illusions about the “you’ve got to be kidding” reception he expects. “It is the runners who are looking for an edge who will take the chance,” he says.

At 6.4 oz, the laceless and tongueless (and swooshless) design gained the favors of triathletes for its versatility and comfort but failed to capture the enthusiasm of its target market: runners. Despite being ultimately unsuccessful, the experiment ushered a more innovative approach to uppers design and marked a departure for the predominantly sole-focused design mindset of the time. And while the Huarache’s water ski-inspired neoprene bootie introduced a couple years later ultimately proved to be more pivotal to Nike’s subsequent innovations, the Sock Racer remains, beyond its immediate legacy  (Air Sock, Air Flow, Air Current), the conceptual ancestor of a wide and eclectic range of models (ACG Air Moc, Air Rift, Air Footscape, Air Presto… all the way to the Free and FlyKnit).

The original 1989 Bat-boots designed by Tinker Hatfield for Tim Burton’s Batman. As the story goes, Nike had a deal going with Warner Bros and wanted in on what would no doubt be one of the blockbusters of the year. Producer Jon Peters had initially proposed to use the Batsuit for a bit of product placement but lead costume director Bob Ringwood opposed it on the ground that 80s sportswear wasn’t going to fit in with the film’s 1940s look, as a compromise he suggested that Nike take care of the boots design instead. Ringwood was particularily fond of the 1988 Air Trainer SC (now Air Trainer III) and so Tinker Hatfield was brought in to turn his original design into boots. Working from a plaster cast of Michael Keaton’s calves, Hatfield made 18 pairs of knee-high leather-and-polyurethane boots complete with shin guards and instep armors. Unsurprisingly, the film features several detailed shots of the shoes.
The boots were a hit with Keaton and his stuntmen and Hatfield was brought back to work on Batman Returns two years later. Since the cost of creating new boots from scratch was estimated at $20,000, Hatfield decided to start once again with an existing design and customized a pair of 1991 Air Jordan VI (incidentally, some elements of the Jordan VI design are said to have been inspired by Hatfield’s work on the original Bat-boot). 

The original 1989 Bat-boots designed by Tinker Hatfield for Tim Burton’s Batman. As the story goes, Nike had a deal going with Warner Bros and wanted in on what would no doubt be one of the blockbusters of the year. Producer Jon Peters had initially proposed to use the Batsuit for a bit of product placement but lead costume director Bob Ringwood opposed it on the ground that 80s sportswear wasn’t going to fit in with the film’s 1940s look, as a compromise he suggested that Nike take care of the boots design instead. Ringwood was particularily fond of the 1988 Air Trainer SC (now Air Trainer III) and so Tinker Hatfield was brought in to turn his original design into boots. Working from a plaster cast of Michael Keaton’s calves, Hatfield made 18 pairs of knee-high leather-and-polyurethane boots complete with shin guards and instep armors. Unsurprisingly, the film features several detailed shots of the shoes.

The boots were a hit with Keaton and his stuntmen and Hatfield was brought back to work on Batman Returns two years later. Since the cost of creating new boots from scratch was estimated at $20,000, Hatfield decided to start once again with an existing design and customized a pair of 1991 Air Jordan VI (incidentally, some elements of the Jordan VI design are said to have been inspired by Hatfield’s work on the original Bat-boot). 

Nike Lunar Solstice Mid SP White Label Pack

Nike Lunar Solstice Mid SP White Label Pack

Torsion Allegra
FW 2013 Y-3 Qasa

FW 2013 Y-3 Qasa

1987 Nike Air Control ad featuring Whistler’s Mother

1987 Nike Air Control ad featuring Whistler’s Mother

Phoebe Philo

Phoebe Philo

Tom Sachs x NikeCraft Mars Yard shoes
Outsoles borrowed from the NIKE special forces boot (SFB), vectran fabric from the Mars Excursion Rover airbags, and detailing from Apollo Lunar Overshoes. These premium athletic shoes thrive in the rugged terrain of the simulated Mars Yard in Pasadena, CA - as well as stealthily creeping the mission-funding hallways of headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Tom Sachs x NikeCraft Mars Yard shoes

Outsoles borrowed from the NIKE special forces boot (SFB), vectran fabric from the Mars Excursion Rover airbags, and detailing from Apollo Lunar Overshoes. These premium athletic shoes thrive in the rugged terrain of the simulated Mars Yard in Pasadena, CA - as well as stealthily creeping the mission-funding hallways of headquarters in Washington, D.C.