Over the course of its 56-year-old history, NIKE, Inc. has developed hundreds of unheralded products that have revolutionized footwear. The Nike Challenger, first seen in 1979, is among them.
Reminiscent of the Air Tailwind that debuted during the Honolulu Marathon of 1978, the Challenger was Nike’s solution to two issues that plagued running silhouettes of the era: weight and fit. A complex combination of mesh, nylon, and suede allowed performance-runners to achieve breathability and durability, but the Challenger minimized its use of mesh across the forefoot and tongue in order to deliver a lighter, more flexible ride. While similar in shape to its contemporaries, the Challenger fit differently because of its zigzag eyestays, which allowed wearers to tighten or loosen the pair unlike other products on the market. Since ’79, these design choices have become standard not only within The Swoosh’s line of products (i.e. Air Max 90, Air Jordan 5) but also among competitors’ offerings.
No official stateside release date is known, but the Challenger is likely to quietly return to Nike.com by Fall. In the meantime, enjoy a look at two original colorways of the classic silhouette ahead.
For more long-awaited retros, check out the Air Max Triax 96 USA.
Style Code: CW7645-002 (Black)
Style Code: CW7645-003 (Sail)
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