Nike's NSW branded shoe silhouettes seem to have stepped up this year. Once, we paid little attention to the new designs aimed at a casual audience, but this year, the NSW Air Solstice with its mix of 1980s running looks, that Woven/Mayfly mix and the barely-there Roshe Run have made some power moves. Nike's had a big year and an open-minded crowd seems to be lapping up anything woven - what bricked but was appreciated in the Crooked Tongues office a few years back is the kind of thing that shifts units nowadays. These are different times and a lot seems to have happened in just 12 months - the Nike Free Ineva Woven is a fair summary of what people are loving at the moment. Nothing can come close to what the original Nike Woven did in 2000, arriving without ads, not made for sport at all, willfully understocked and commanding colossal prices, it pretty much came out of nowhere to write the formula for the decade that followed.
The Free Ineva Woven applies the grey and speckled sole from the 2011 Free Run+ 2 City releases to an upper akin to the Woven Boot design that caused some controversy a decade ago when purists really were purists. Free and Woven are bestsellers this year, in every form, so to bring them together is a no brainer. Where the Ineva excels is in the thought process that resurrects some of the original Woven's premium appeal. Different strand thicknesses and a last that avoids the dreaded "genie toe" some Woven shoes carried, make these an easy wear, twinned with the flex of that Free sole. The hand-woven element brings back some OG Woven appeal (something lost in recent editions), while the leather tongue, footbed and rear panel makes them feel a little more special than another unmemorable hybrid.
Everybody loves black and grey with a subtle splatter, and this release boasts looks that are pretty much one of the nicest HTMs that never was - even in a post Nike Flyknit market. These drop tomorrow in spots like 1948 and are worth inspecting in a physical rather than jpeg form.