Nike Zoom Fly SP Nathan Bell

Price: $150

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The new Nike Zoom Fly SP collaboration with Nathan Bell captures an unspoken truth that many runners can relate to: a love/hate relationship with running. Bell, an artist and designer who specializes in hand drawings paired with clever text and puns, was approached by Nike to work on a new Zoom Fly SP design after seeing his solo gallery show.

Bell says that to get inspired by the shoe in an “authentic way,” he stepped out of his comfort zone and started running around his neighborhood in Los Angeles’ Arts District. “Even though it was hard at first and I hated it, eventually I started to achieve new goals and understand the benefits (of running),” he says. Bell says outright hate has given way to a love/hate perspective. And from that appreciation for a sport that’s equal parts triumph and struggle were born the scribbled images and phrases dotted across the translucent pastel pink upper of the latest Nike Zoom Fly SP.

A serious performance shoe, the Zoom Fly was developed during Nike’s 2017 “Breaking 2” quest to break the two-hour marathon mark. More recent iterations have kept the shoe’s light, smooth, and fast technology and combined it with a playful design, as in the case of this collaboration with Nathan Bell, newspaper-style sketches of swooshes and daisies, and the “Tag You’re It” scrawled across the heel. Other handwritten quotes on the shoe like ‘I can’t feel my legs’, ‘I don’t know the finish lines’ and ‘I love you/I don’t love you’ address the highs and lows of the race. Elsewhere on the shoe, the phrase “Run to a magical place” accompanies a sketch of a sneaker with a unicorn horn.

If you can appreciate a solid mix of humor, motivation and even realism in your shoe design – because yes, running sometimes, although it’s mostly magical and awesome – you’ll want to take a look at the Zoom Fly SP Nathan Bell shoe when it drops on Valentine’s Day.

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