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The Nike Huarache line is another of those timeless Nike collections that we have Tinker Hatfield to thank for. The sneakers first landed back in 1991 in the form of the Nike Air Huarache, that runner that was one of the earliest examples of Nike willfully creating a sneaker that was “stripped to the bare essentials”, as the vintage ad copy claims. That stripping also manifested in the branding used – Tinker and co. scaled back the Swoosh coverage to create something that could better rest on the laurels of its technology. That technology was one that actually was in danger of not making it to retail at one point in production; the legend goes that Nike was weary of bringing the model to market, but a test run sold at the NYC Marathon in the early 90s had runners clamoring for the model and it was in turn given the greenlight.
From that point on, the water-skiing inspired sneaker (Tinker loved the neoprene fit from there and borrowed it for his creation) couldn’t be stopped. The Nike Air Huarache made its debut in 1991 and almost immediately jumped out of the running category. Huarache-like models like the Nike Air Mowabb and the Air Jordan VII took cues from the fit. Jerry Seinfeld wore them on TV, Michael Johnson showed them off in commercials, and a legacy was born. Gathered here is a select group of Huarache-derived Nikes – a group of the more influential and lasting designs. Continue reading for a glance at Nike Huarache history and then tell us in the comments which is your favorite pair.