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This week I was able to get a pair of Nike Air Huarache in my favorite colorway in black and blue which made it great time to review the features of this iconic sneaker. The Nike Air Huarache Running Shoes is one of the classics that came out of the Tinker Hatfield / Nike collaboration. Launched in 1991 in line with an ad campaign titled, “Have you hugged your foot today?” the shoe quickly became a favorite on and off the track for its unique style and comfort, and has remained that way ever since.

Fast-forward to 2017 where the sneaker, which is now known for using neoprene technology, is still popular as a casual, stylish and comfortable kick. I have been meaning to test out the Huarache for a while, and I decided to grab my favorite color combination in black and blue. I first grabbed my size 11.5 but they felt a bit tight so I went for a size 12 instead.  It's hard to find the Nike Air Huarache on sale but this was one of those rare occasions and i grabbed one for $89.99. That being said, the retail price $110 or the $120 for the Ultra versions is not a bad deal at all for what you get. As a first impression they appear a bit bulky, with a prominent mudguard, back straps and a generous midsole. Despite that, they don't weigh that much -13oz -considering how many pieces were put together.

Upper

The elaborate design of the Nike Air Huarache Runner is something that has always caught my eye, so when I took it out of the box for the first time, I spent some time admiring the details. Performance wise, it has been great so far, providing a lot of cushioning while not feeling cumbersome. In fact, I was a bit surprised at how light the Huarache felt despite its compact design.

To be fair, they certainly don’t look like typical running shoes. Its trademark upper consists of several overlaying panels made from spandex, plastic, and leather. But underneath it all, the neoprene liner hugs my feet, offering stability and flexibility. It isn’t that big on breathability, though, but being rather lightweight somewhat makes up for that. My feet remained comfortable, whether I was putting down a few miles, sweating it out in the gym, or just taking a walk. In addition, the smooth lining makes it possible for me to go sockless if I want to.

Sole Unit

With Air Sole units in the front and heels, the Nike Air Huarache is quite cushiony. Not only does it give me that ‘walking on air’ impression, the Phylon foam in the midsole allows me to enjoy every step, regardless of the terrain my feet are on. I also enjoy the fact that it has flex grooves on the sturdy rubber outsoles, which I think are helpful in expanding range of movement and adding flexibility. Plus, the outsole’s rugged design keeps me balanced on tile and other smooth surfaces. Another thing, it seems quite durable; I haven’t noticed much wear despite trekking it out on dirt, gravel, and concrete, and even for a few long runs.

Bottom Line

To conclude this Nike Air Huarache review, you won’t see many people running in the Nike Air Huarache nowadays due to it becoming more of a lifestyle symbol, but it still stands up as a true runner when put to the test. I am not sure if I will continue running in mine, because it has become a conversation starter for me, which means I have been dressing it up for casual stints most of the times lately.

The Nike Air Huarache is not without its flaws. One of the biggest complaints is that it doesn’t fit true to size. It’s a good thing I read reviews and bought a half-size bigger than I would normally, which turned out to be the perfect fit. Also, even though it’s not a bother for me, the lack of breathability might affect others. Oh, and its sturdiness may come off a little stiff at first, but breaks in pretty quickly.

This is one shoe that I see Nike continuing to supply, as there is growing demand, both among the young and old. You won’t readily find it in stores, mind you, but its availability online and reputation keeps it flourishing.

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