The NIKE AIR RIFT was a genuine curiosity when it was first released in 1996. Originally developed for the Kenyan running team, the design of the shoe was inspired by the barefoot running style preferred by the African athletes. Further, it debuted in the colours of the country’s flag and drew its name from Kenya’s Rift Valley province. But Kenya’s domain and landscape lent more than just its name and colours to the Air Rift’s design. The nation’s signature characteristic, the stunning Great Rift Valley fault line, provided a second source of inspiration for the shoe’s defining characteristic: a decoupled toe that created articulation between the wearers first and second toes.
Before launching officially, pre-release pairs and samples were changing hands for vast sums of cash and the Air Rift was one of the most talked-about trainers in the UK since the release of the Air Max 95. Although released during one of the most innovative and memorable eras of Nike advertising (courtesy of the masters at Wieden + Kennedy), the Rift didn’t need marketing – this was one release that truly spread via word of mouth.
The NIKE AIR RIFT returns this season, with original colourways dropping on MONDAY 27TH APRIL. Get further info on the drop via the link-through below.
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