As worn by the likes of, of course, the collaborator himself Andre Agassi and rock stars like Dave Mustane (Megadeath), the Nike Air Tech Challenge is clearly a very cool shoe.
When Andre Agassi joined Nike as a Tennis Player in 1986 aged only 16, he was very different from his peers. The long hair, brightly coloured clothes and rebellious attitude, Agassi embodied the wild late 80’s and early 90’s fashion era.
Agassi’s signature sneaker line debuted in 1989 with the Nike Air Tech Challenge.
The line included the Nike Air Tech Challenge 1- 4 and also the likes of the Nike Air Tech Challenge Huarache and the Nike Air Tech Challenge Hybrid.
The Air Tech Challenge is ultimately cool because it hasn’t had 1000’s of awful reiterations, each remake has stayed fairly true to its original form and colourways. In that respect it has still stayed fairly rare, each remake making it fairly hard to get at the time. BUT… it hasn’t fallen in line to the ‘hype’ that the sneaker world has become of late.
So far Supreme and Palace haven’t tried to remake it, but I bet your bottom dollar someone will soon.
I work in the industry and have consulted on tennis culture within fashion over the past couple of years.
For me personally the best time in Tennis was in Agassi’s heyday. His collaboration wasn’t just aesthetically cool, the advertising was some of the best I think Nike has ever done.
Take a look at some of the adverts here:
And my favourite from 1990 with Red Hot Chilli Peppers:
Streetwear and sportswear, on a commercial note, are missing rock n roll in my opinion.
If the above adverts aren’t some of the coolest you have seen, then I guess we aren’t like-minded. And that’s ok, I’m just probably a lot cooler than you. (In my own humble opinion).
But on a serious level, high tops are making a come back with Jordan collaborations at an all-time high and Air Force 1’s having a major moment. Will we see some more Air Tech Challenge releases this year? I hope so!
Here are some more reasons why it’s a dope sneaker:
They were worn by the likes of Dave Mustane of MegaDeath (image from sneakernews).
They were seen in Friends, one of the most iconic TV series of our time… (image via spotem)
The print adverts were also super cool:
Agassi himself has a style like no one before him or since: (image via Kicks on Fire)
Ultimately I’m biased as a rock fan who collects trainers, but what do you think? You can let me know on instagram.
In these images, I’m wearing my 2007 Air Tech Challenge 2 ‘Hot Lava.’ I got these for a steal from ebay, and if you are being on point with the current climate issues you will know that buying second hand is much more sustainable.
It’s also much nicer than resell prices on Jordan’s right now!
I also have a much older early 80’s pair which are totally crumbled sadly, but If anyone reading this does sole swaps, hit me up.
I hope you liked reading this, I mostly wrote it for my own pleasure… Peace x
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