Nike Vintage Running

Posted on July 17, 2007 Under Fashion

I’m having a hard time separating my feelings about the upcoming Nike vintage running shoes themselves from the marketing campaign that surrounds them. For starters, it seems risky to go on record criticizing the fine men and women at the Swoosh given their stellar track record. The interwebs seem to have responded positively to the new campaign, so I feel obligated to expound a bit on my reaction aside from just offering a cliched meh. Making matters worse for potential critics of the new line, Nike brought in Junya Watanabe, one of the hottest designers among snearkerphiles. The results… well, the results are what you might expect — new sneakers that look like old running shoes. Or, more accurately, running shoes you would never actually wear running. Now, don’t get me wrong — I’m not some crazy half-wit that expects people to only wear sneakers while playing tennis nor am I stumping for a return of the blucher (although I hear it’s a good shoe for yachting). So, what are we left with…? We have a tongue-in-cheek marketing campaign cleverly designed around late-70s era fashion and fitness, headlined by Nike’s website promoting (and selling, starting on July 21) the new line of shoes. The site mixes parody with back story via a fictional issue of “Oregon Runner” magazine, and includes a number of ridiculous articles on this new fad called “jogging” (or is it “yogging”? it might be a soft “j”). I can’t help but feel like it’s all a bit forced. Are feathered mullets funny? I guess. Do they want to make me buy shoes, most of which look pretty ugly to me? Not really. Check it out for yourselves; I would be interested to hear what people think about both the shoes and the campaign.