V Want It: The New Nike Air Rift

V Want It: The New Nike Air Rift

Closing the Rift Between Comfort and Style, the new designs take inspiration from the shoe's heritage

Closing the Rift Between Comfort and Style, the new designs take inspiration from the shoe's heritage

Text: Bianca Collado

Kenyan distance runners monopolized the headlines of the '90s, gaining recognition for their continuous success in international competitions. Their strenuous training involved running barefoot through the Great Rift Valley Trench, which made their fame absolute. In 1996, Nike debuted the slightly odd, and highly inspired sneaker-sandal that would revolutionize city streets worldwide. The Nike Air Rift shoe combines a technologically innovative build which intertwines agility and style, with a dynamic homage to Kenyan athletes (the original colors, black, comet red, and turf green were in themselves a tribute to the Kenyan flag). Now, the colors have expanded to include funky tie-dye patterns, with textiles from the Maisha Collective in Nairobi, Kenya, celebrating the shoe's heritage. The collaboration with the collective—comprised of close to 100 female artisans who use traditional African techniques to make the signature tie-dye patterns—came about via Piece & Co.

The technology behind the shoe only further adds to the insurmountable success that's been growing for twenty years. The flat bottoms and rubber soles make walking or running an experience that comes as naturally as breathing, and the split in between the first and second toe only enhance the Kenyan style tribute. As an anniversary bonus, Nike has included a number of different color schemes to please both a man, and woman's aesthetic eye. To add, Nike has incorporated a mesh as a new sneaker skin, The Nike Air Rift, which provides elasticity and breathability during scorching summer months.

The Nike Air Rift PRM QS is available in women’s sizing beginning June 15 at nike.com and select Nike retailers.

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