BEHIND THE DESIGN
WMNS AIR HUARACHE ULTRA
The early 1990s running boom birthed plenty of classic silhouettes. Visible Nike Air was already at the forefront of Nike innovation, utilized in a range of sneaker styles. The next evolution of footwear was birthed with the Air Huarache family, which continues to evolve over two decades later.
Joining the growing family of ultra modernizations is the Air Huarache Ultra, a refined style that began with nailing down what made the original Air Huarache so iconic. Tapping into the timeless sneaker’s design philosophy meant figuring out how to channel it for today’s woman.
When it came to deciding what elements to retain from the original and which to refine, Comeaux started with the heel stabilizer. Modern in form, the iconic design element comes to life in minimal fashion thanks to lightweight stretch webbing. This webbing allows for an improved ease of entry. The new age heel stabilizer also features a larger brand read celebrating Nike heritage.
Continuing on the path of modernization, the upper now features molded detailing in place of the leather saddle seen on the original. “With the quarter saddle, we eliminated that overlay, and we reimagined it to be a molded detail. So, we’re eliminating weight and we’re reducing layers, but we’re not compromising the fit,” explains Comeaux.
The updated Air Huarache also features a cored-out, lightweight foam tooling. Like other silhouettes in the refined ultra franchise, weight has been dramatically reduced in the new model thanks to a one-piece bootie construction and updated tooling. In a women’s sample size 7, the Air Huarache Ultra weighs in at just 6.8 ounces, while the original Air Huarache weighs 8.3 ounces in the same size.
Now, the silhouette continues its move from the track to the pavement thanks to a series of modern updates for everyday use. For Comeaux, “the Air Huarache Ultra solves for comfort and fit, flexibility and ease of entry. I see it as the Huarache version of a ‘t-shirt for your foot.’ It gives her all these benefits, but does so in a way that’s offering her a style choice that is versatile.”