Feeling more like a best of Nike's oddest moments than anything particularly new, we can't deny the love we feel for the Nike Footscape Woven Chukka.
The animal prints that were Asia-exclusives and the HTM-tribute rainbow takes, plus the Bodega edition were all triumphs. Why does this shoe work? We like that Mowabb-esque neoprene collar and the way the extra inch or so of ankle height makes the addition of that Free-style grooved update of the Footscape sole actually work, whereas on the Flymotion edition, we just found it another jarring alteration to one of our favourite shoes ever. We'd waited a while for a Footscape Chukka with the asymmetrical lacing (the Footscape Woven Chukka from 2006 looked okay, but that cumbersome sole needed the side lace to set it off, thus they caught dust when they dropped).
The weave on these captures the bizarre mix of technology and tradition that Mike Aveni's legendary Woven did back in 2000, but it also lets designers dumb out with the weave details against plainer materials on the upper with a certain immunity. After all, the Footscape consumer doesn't fear bizarre shoes. Usually the top tier offerings were the most eccentric, while the more conventional colours were offered inline, but these are TZ calibre at a more accessible level — speckled nylon straps that run through each of these makeups alongside sober leather stitches and soft suede uppers make these some of the best versions of these shoes to date.
With the Flat Gold edition carrying a tribute to its sibling's navy upper on the heel and the Night Stadium version's unexpected neon tab on the heel to match the details on the Flat Gold, these two shoes just work, by clashing the fluoro and restrained shades to find a happy medium. Speckled, Regrind style gum rubber on parts of the outsole and the top white eyelet completes these eccentric, excellent shoes. Good with jeans and excellent with shorts, we love this model. And if you don't, we're not going to attempt to alter that opinion. The Footscape 2 had us recoiling at the notion of neoprene on the fish fillet foot shape and bizarro lace style that separates this style from the rest, but this model has helped us recover from that trauma and accept that it can make a Footscape more comfortable, versatile and easy to wear. These arrive in the Crooked Tongues store next month.