These are not being released. Can we reiterate that? They're wear test samples.
The road to your favourite shoe is riddled with the tests that never made the grade. To be honest, we don't actually know what this shoe is, but we had it at hand and it's Nike
Air Huarache week on Crooked Tongues so it qualifies. Plus all our weekend hype product hasn't turned up yet. But we know how people love to see new product and content-hungry hacks love to reblog content with every single image as a gallery so there's no need to ever click through to the source, so why not up some weirdness? As far as we understand, these were a Huarache redux that was set for a spring 2006 release (we assume they were wear tested in 2005). The inner label calls them 'A. HUARACHE' and we don't know what it stood foor.
To start, we thought these might be some part of the shelved Restoration Series that put out the Air Trainer First Take and Air Jaq version of the Raid, but handling them, they're pure performance. The crazy open mesh, the bubble texture semi-transparent side panels and the Mayfly style cutaways on the ultra lightweight outsole is breathability manifested as some kind of speedy-looking space shoe. That heel strap and the metallic stretch fabric there, that sock-like neoprene fit, the toe panel and the pimpled rear midsole, plus the nod to the classic Scream Green colourway that defined this model are all homages to the OG though. Presumably, these were too early in the process to bear any kind of updated branding.
These have seen some wear, but there's plenty of synthetic materials on that upper that we've not seen on a shoe since. It's easy to write these off as ugly, but they're insane in the flesh — true concept cars of the footwear world. What was the end goal? Was this a rough draft of something a little more accessible? Bar the Nike Moire, 2006 was kind of a drought for solid new performance running silhouettes, so this release, set for the 15th anniversary of the source material could have broken through the blandness.
Or it could have been electronically burned at the stake on various forums for heresy. When they weren't wearing hooded sweatshirts covered in gun prints, gaudy Dunks and keffiyehs, streetwear people were quite puritanical back then. Still, the mysterious 'A. HUARACHE' is an interesting "what if" from an otherwise uninteresting time for athletic footwear. Since our unnamed subject it got its testing there's been a few new Huarache styles in training, like the decent Zoom Huarache Trainer, but it's clear that they didn't use this experiment as a jump-off point. Kind of ugly, but extremely interesting, these beat a crappy hybrid any day.