The Nike Air Huarache has always divided opinion within the sneaker community. Sneakerheads opinions vary depending on when you got into sneakers, in all honesty. If you were a part of the game back in the 90s when Tinker Hatfield first created the legendary silhouette, you most probably have fond memories of the shoe. You could spot icons like Mike Tyson and Michael Jordan in the Hatfield creation in the early days, with the intriguing design catching everybody’s attention.

However, suppose you are slightly newer to the game. In that case, your memories of the Air Huarache may be seeing Joey Essex and his TOWIE castmates stomping around Marbella in the silhouette. Worst yet, you may be instantly transported to mums wearing the ridiculously comfortable sneaker to do the weekly food shop. The mainstream boom the sneaker saw is down to Nike’s marketing of the Air Huarache. They capitalised on the 90s revival throughout the 00s and released 100s of colourways. Nike’s payoff was massive financially, but in turn, did it kill the hype of one of its most forward-thinking designs? Possibly. 

A few years have passed now, and Nike look set to revive the iconic sneaker. How? With the help of legendary streetwear label Stussy of course. Many people have questioned the release this week, labelling the Air Huarache ugly. But I think this is partly down to not knowing the sneaker’s and the Stussy collaboration’s history. I look into both below in a piece I hope will change a few younger sneakerheads outlook on the Air Huarache. 

Where did it all begin?

The Air Huarache was first released in 1991 and was a part of legendary designer Tinker Hatfield’s impressive portfolio. Hatfield had been pushing the boundaries of designs with the Air Max lines, which everybody applauded within the industry. With this mega success under his belt, Nike allowed Hatfield to run wild with his creative juices. The outcome? the Air Huarache and Air Mowabb. Similar designs, the Mowabb was almost a high-top version of the Huarache. The Huarache was designed as a runner, stripped back from the usual Nike branding. The technology did the talking with this model, although Nike was wary of releasing it initially. Fortunately, a trial sale at the NYC marathon sold-out instantly, so Nike took the silhouette to market. 

The Air Huarache held some serious power within the sneaker industry. Mike Tyson would rock them, Michael Jordan sported them in advertising campaigns at the height of his superstardom. Renowned sneakerhead Jerry Seinfield even had a pair on foot whilst filming the iconic ‘Seinfield’ sitcom. The Air Huarache was one of the most important Nike silhouettes of the 90s. 

Unfortunately, over saturating the market in the 00s by releasing too many Air Huarache colourways has caused a damaging aura to surround the legendary runner. Nike went for the quick money grab, which did work, but actually damaged the Huarache legacy. Fortunately, though, they are going some way to repair the shoe’s reputation, starting with the Stussy collaboration. 

Stussy x Nike Air Huarache: 2000, 2021

The year was 2000, the hype around the Huarache had died down, but all of that was about to change. Nike looked to increase its product reach by enlisting a streetwear brand’s help, and in walked Stussy. Fraser Cooke of Nike reaches out to Stussy’s Michael Koppleman, offering the chance to take over a classic Nike runner. Koppleman and Cooke settled on the Huarache being that silhouette, and the colourways that followed were truly one of a kind. The Olive Green and Desert Oak colourways caught the attention of everybody. Sneakerheads, runners, Stussy collectors, everyone wanted a pair of the Stussy x Nike Huarache. 

The sneaker would only release at the London chapter store, making the sneaker super exclusive. Minimal numbers of the shoe would drop, making this one of the hardest to find shoes of all time. The hype that surrounded this particular collab has remained consistent over the last twenty-one years. Even throughout the years, when people began to turn on the Huarache, real collectors would not have turned their noses up at the chance to own the Stussy Huarache. 

It may have taken over twenty years, but Nike and Stussy have finally revived the elusive shoe. The re-release has been met with criticism amongst the newer collectors and sneakerheads. But, for any OG’s of the game, this will be one of the best releases all year. The backstory is generally my favourite part about collecting sneakers; I see the recent Stussy x Nike Huarache blowing up once people look at the history behind both the collaboration and the Huarache. 

Are you looking to add a pair of the Stussy x Nike Air Huarache’s to your rotation? Click the links below to find your size.

Stussy x Nike Air Huarache ‘Desert Oak’

Nike Air Huarache ‘Scream Green’: 1991, 2014, 2021

The second re-issue we see from Nike is one of the OG colourways of the runner. The Scream Green first released back in 1991 alongside the Turquoise/Gold’s and MJ’s favourite, the Purple Punches. The Scream Green was used for advertising purposes back in ’91. You would find the brightly coloured runner alongside the wording ‘The Future Is Here’. Despite being one of Nikes’ most iconic Air Huarache colourways, we did not see a retro of the sneaker until 2014. 

Releasing the OG colourway in 2014 probably wasn’t the best idea from Nike, as it fell amongst hundreds of GR colourways and did not receive the respect it deserved. Re-releasing the original colourway should’ve been a special moment for the brand and silhouette. Unfortunately, this just wasn’t the case for the 2014 release, and they sat. 

Luckily, after a cooling-off period of six years, Nike feels like now is the time to give the Scream Green another shot at success. This 2021 version is a close as we have ever seen to the OG release from 1991. Tumbled leather is complemented by the famous neoprene underlays that make the Huarache’s such a comfortable shoe. A must-have for sneakerheads that are looking to really add a piece of history to their collection. 

Looking to add the Scream Green to your collection? Click below to find your size now.

Nike Air Huarache Scream Green

2021, the Year of the Huarache

Dropping the Scream Green in line with the Stussy Huaraches is a stroke of genius from the powers that be at Nike. Giving all three the feel of exclusivity is essential to catapult the Huarache back to its once dizzying heights of success. I don’t mean the cash cow success of the 00s when they were milling out pairs for instant gains. I’m talking about the success of the Huarache that solidified it as a classic in the 90s. I think Nike has missed a trick not educating the newer audience they have gained over the years on the importance of such silhouettes. 

Despite the instant criticism that I have seen the Air Huarache receive since these releases, I still declare 2021 the Year of the Huarache. I mean, if it’s good enough for Jordan, Tyson and Seinfield, it’s good enough for us, right? 


Want to have a look at some of the other iconic Nike collaborations Stussy have delivered over the years? Click here to take a look at our favourites.