14 Nike sneaker collaborations to buy

While it’s safe to say it’s impossible to pinpoint a single Nike icon, an array of Nike sneaker collaborations, including Sacai’s futuristic take on the track shoe and Tom’s highly anticipated general-purpose shoe Sachs, champ the waffle like the shoe that started it all.

Today, sporting any Waffle iteration signals an “if you know, you know” nod, a nod to its 50-year-old genesis story. I asked designer Susan Korn of Susan Alexandra, herself a Waffle wearer, to reflect on the role of style in our current fashion mindset: “Great design defies time, gender and place. . That’s what makes this shoe essential in everyone’s wardrobe. She elaborates, “When I was growing up, my dad wore a pair of 1970s cobalt blue waffles. Now, in my 30s, I want to emulate all of his carefree style. Remaining relevant across generations and popular among the sports and fashion communities, Nike’s most original style has stood the test of time while representing sneaker history for the ages.

The waffle was first invented in 1971 at a breakfast table, where Nike co-founder and athletic trainer Bill Bowerman enjoyed waffles with his wife. Looking at his plate, Bowerman realized that the grooves in the waffle mimicked an ideal mold for grip suitable for multiple surfaces (the track he was training on in Oregon went from crushed cinder to an artificial surface. metal spikes typical of a track shoe would damage the new surface, so Bowerman was looking for a softer solution). Bill’s wife Barbara recalled in an interview with The Oregonian in 2006: “When one of the waffles came out, he said, ‘You know, turning it over, where the waffle part would come in contact with a track, I think that might work.’ So he got up from the table and walked into his lab and took two boxes of what you pour together to make urethane and poured them into the waffle iron.

After creating his first prototype, Bowerman tested his invention with his racers. The style later earned the name “Moon Shoe” in 1972 for the footprint left that resembled that of Apollo astronauts on the moon. Because the inventive outsole was so effective on multiple surfaces, the shoe was later adopted by other athletes, including soccer and baseball players. Later described by the brand as “an iconic silhouette served up with a rebellious side of soul”, the Waffle Trainer quickly became the nation’s best-selling training shoe and an icon of innovation.

While the most legendary sneakers were born out of a necessity for performance, it didn’t take long for style savants to recognize the finest craftsmanship and design expertise. Seth Weisser, fashion historian and co-founder and CEO of What Goes Around Comes Around, shed light on the sneaker’s rapid foray into the world of fashion: “The Waffle changed the game in sports, so Wearing them was a form of being ‘in knowing what was going on in the culture.Once the Waffle Trainer and Waffle Racer were created in 1973 and 1974, respectively, the style gradually gained street cred. “Today’s classic retro feel of the Waffle is a break from the current roster of running shoes,” says Weisser. “It’s the OG for Nike in addition to later models like the blazer and then the Jordan series. .”

The Waffle’s heritage proves that in a world of sneaker abundance, the original is always better. Today, Nike’s holy grail, Bowerman’s waffle iron, resides at Nike headquarters along with a handful of Bill’s handmade shoe treads. Half a century after its contribution to sneaker folklore, a story of imagination, inventiveness and style so cool it might have you stopping a stranger on the street lives on.

Here are the Nike sneaker collaborations that honor the Waffle as the street-style throwback shoe that never really left.