I’m on my second pair of most underrated sneakers from Nike, and I’ll never love another like these

The Air Force 1s may be in the spotlight, but this chunky-soled sneaker is the style underdog.

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This is going to sound very pointless, so please bear with me for a dramatized and highly consumerist statement: outside of family and close friends, my longest relationships tend to be with my shoes.

The shoes balance style and function. Shoes protect our feet from scorching summer sidewalks or freezing, icy streets. Shoes can help keep our joints healthy as we traverse unexpected terrain; the highest heels can be awfully uncomfortable, but accentuate the hip on our walks. However a shoe influences our movements, its style can say a lot about the wearer.

For me, there are no shoes that I like as much as sneakers. And sneakers, I haven’t bought so many Nike Air Huarache.

I don’t remember when my love affair with sneakers started, since I’ve worn them all my life. In Chicago, where I grew up, sneakers are woven in a beautiful, creative and flourishing cultural place. Long before luxury fashion gave the comfortable and stylish shoe the time of day, sneaker culture had a long and storied history, with roots in basketball, hip-hop and graffiti. The Nike Air Huarache is a great continuation of that history and great design.

I first fell in love with Huaraches in 2018, when I bought a pair in the wheat color and struck gold. I wore these shoes until they wore out. They went with every outfit and kept me comfortable throughout my oddly routine mile-long walks. When my soles were almost bare and the shoes fell apart, I had to accept the fact that my most reliable shoe was finished. I was tempted to try another sneaker model — especially with the explosion of options lately – but I ended up going back to Nike.

When it comes to sneakers, the Huarache seems to be my one true love.

It’s ridiculously comfortable, thanks to Nike Air cushioning. Its structure and soft materials are made to hug your foot, like a glove would for your hand. The tab at the back helps you get by by putting them on without touching the laces. Aesthetically, it’s a chunky shoe that still manages a sculpted and balanced look. (Keep in mind they tend to run half a size small.)

From my research on the internet, Nike hasn’t dropped the wheat colorway I originally fell in love with since I bought it years ago. instead, I opted for the last version, which is a mix of beige and olive green with speckled soles, made with partly recycled materials. (It also comes in black-white, off-white, and blue-green colorways.) Much like the first pair, I’ll be wearing these until the soles thin out.

Nike’s Air Force 1s are one of the the most classic and timeless sneakers for good reason — Nelly did a song about them in the early 2000s, artists like Jay Z and Young Jeezy kept them in the conversation, towering designers like Virgil Abloh reinvented them, collaborations with brands like Supreme kept their popularity high – and while I’m not against them, it seems like everyone is wearing them now. So if you’re hungry for a pair of kicks that will make you feel like you’re flying without matching everyone else passing by, give Air Huaraches a try.

Nike Air Huarache Crater Premium, $135, available here.

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