The Nike Air Huarache LE is still the swirling Hurricane (pun intended) at the centre of current UK shoe hype, and whilst a lot of us are getting pretty bored of the current crop of odd colourways, there’s still reason to be thankful – if it wasn’t for all that hype Nike may not have brought back this underground favourite – the NIKE AIR HUARACHE LIGHT ‘ULTRAMARINE’
Whilst from some angles it looks fairly tame compared to it’s better known Huarache LE brother, The Huarache Light has always been less mainstream than that first instalment. Unlike Tinker Hatfield’s 1991 masterpiece which was a worldwide smash, the ’93 light wasn’t a big sales hit, and vanished off the shelves pretty quickly after spawning just a couple of colourways. That’s not to say it was a bad shoe though – the Light is a nice design both in form and function – distinctive high side panels, moulded lace supports and lack of big swoosh make it look distinctive, while swapping out the ’91 neoprene for stretchy Meshlon gave them the signature Huarache foot-hug comfort with added breathability. Despite this, it may have faded without trace if it wasn’t for one of the colourways – the fabled ‘Ultramarine’ – which has kept it alive in the minds of fans and collectors and elevated it to cult status. Shouts to Gooey and Eloise for keeping that torch burning!
So what’s so great about it? Just look at it! Deep blue synthetic suede as a base, jet black mesh for some texture, a clean white midsole, then crazy hits of bright teal on the toe and lining, and loud crimson on the heel tab, sole and swoosh. Striking but still subtle, and enough to make people look twice without resorting to total retina burner tactics (see the Mango Huarache Racer for a reference point!) Whilst we’re not big fans of the free-sole Huarache range – those classic uppers just look a bit lost plonked on those featureless foam gums – we were sorely tempted by the Ultramarine versions back in 2012, but now we’re glad we’ve held out for the real thing. Shape on these is good, way better than recent LE’s, the synthetic suede and mesh feel pretty accurate, and on our pair there isn’t a glue stain in sight – hopefully this is a positive sign of things to come from Nike’s retro output. Fit wise they don’t come up quite as snug as your regular LE, so we only went up half a size in these compared to a full size in the LE.
Starting to get a wider release, this is the definitive version of a less well known silhouette, and one you’ll be kicking yourself later if you miss, even if you’re fed up of the current Huarache Hype.
The NIKE AIR HUARACHE LIGHT is available now, via the link-through below.
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