One of the most unexpected retros or hybrids of the year joins the Huarache Free this May with more colourways.
We're still perplexed by the Kukini Free (we won't go into how essential the original sole was to the upper again), but there's no denying that everything looks better in a stark dual-tone black and white makeover like this. Free in these colours is a killer and these Nike Sportswear Kukini Frees continue that lineage. We can't fight the feeling - we know we shouldn't be into this model and that the OG Kukini is integral to the origins of Crooked Tongues and its Spine Magazine spinoff status, but this makeup is a good shoe. This was a model born to be lairy, but these tone it down a great deal, yet we're still feeling them. Incidentally, does anyone else remember the Kukini sequel from 2003 with the cutaway foot arch? We always thought they were better than the Footscape or Free sequels, but not a patch on the strange biomechanics of the original.
You'll see the USATF no-nonsense track and field imagery (that borrows from Coach Bill Bowerman's time in the 10th Mountain Division) crop up in the Nike Sportswear range a lot over the coming season, in the camo Run Roshe (a banging shoe) and that Lunar Safari that's been making purists do the Marge Simpson murmur of discontent. Here, it's in those colours, an incredibly hard-to-spot heel emboss and a printed footbed. For a slip-on shoe with an organic-looking rubber netting and a big white wiped sole, this is quite a subtle execution and they're in the Crooked Tongues store right now
. On the topic, we don't think the shoe's designer Sean McDowell gets his props — he designed the legendary Air Max Plus, which is another shoe with the "crooked tongue" that helped spawn the Crooked Tongues name. Cheers Sean.