Nike's All Conditions Gear offshoot continues to take inspiration from Japan, this time with a hiking sneaker named for the Japanese word for blue and green.
The Nike ACG Air Zoom AO is built for land and water, with a sole that drains liquid and prevents the shoe from getting water logged. Together with its sticky tread and a hard rubber toe, this makes for a sneaker that can handle anything the trail throws at you and puts the "all conditions" in "All Conditions Gear." This message is emphasized by a mission statement written out on the sole.
"ACG means all conditions gear and all conditions means all conditions," the sole reads. "ACG is designed and tested in Oregon U.S.A., manufactured to the exact specifications of championship athletes throughout the world for outdoor use. The Nike name and Swoosh stripe and ACG traingle are your gaurantee of quality. Made on Earth."
The best of many worlds — The Air Zoom AO takes its water-draining properties from the Air Kukini 2003, which had a ventilated sole, as well as a mesh design that inspired the recent Stüssy Air Zoom Spiridon Cage 2. It's also informed by the SFB Jungle, a tactical boot with drainage ports in the midsole.
Cushioning comes via Zoom Air, Nike's current flagship technology that utilizes pressurized air and tightly stretched fibers to absorb energy and then quickly return it. Here, that'll provide comfort while hiking — and the sticky rubber helps make up in traction what the less aggressively treaded outsole may lack.
The quick-pull lacing system features concealed laces similar to the Phantom VNM soccer cleat, only instead of allowing for a cleaner strike on a ball they help prevent any snags on the trail. Along with the bootie construction, this also helps the sneaker too function better when wet.
Coming soon for your summer excursions — The Air Zoom AO will release July 9 through Nike's website, leaving plenty of time for you to take it to the trails this summer. Pricing has yet to be announced, but ACG more technology-driven trail sneakers like the Zoom Terra Zaherra usually run for $180.