Shortly after Adidas announced it was bringing back its partnership with Jeremy Scott — and thus the popular JS Wings sneakers — Nike has prepped its own winged sneaker. The Swoosh’s iteration, however, has less to do with its competitor than with its brand heritage.
Although most people associate Nike with sneakers, the brand’s name derives from the Greek goddess of the same name, who represents victory. She is often (ironically) depicted barefoot, as she flies around on wings. And while the company named after her has certainly paid tribute to her winning theme — recently ranking as the world’s most valuable brand for the seventh year in a row — none of its sneakers dedicated to the goddess Nike have sported wings, until now.
An update from gladiator sandals — There’s no better silhouette to honor Nike than the brand’s best-selling Air Force 1. Its clean white base is the perfect canvas for experimentation — or replicating the robes of ancient Greek gods. Keeping its look monochromatic, the low-top shoe has replaced its smooth leather with ribbed Epi leather, adding texture to its forefoot and heel overlays. A silver mesh peeks out from underneath white laces, hinting at the Greek’s devoted marble statues, or perhaps, a winning trophy.
To specify which deity the sneakers celebrate, however, the shoes bear an extended sheer tongue akin to a wing. Featuring a cream exoskeleton, the translucent appendages are meant to blend the shoe and its wearer — making anyone donning the Air Force 1 Low a goddess themselves. Whether or not the model will bring you victory is another story.
Towards the heel of the sneaker, traditional Nike branding has been swapped out for thematic motifs. One shoe reads “Nike Air” in silver Greek lettering, while the other boasts a metallic palm branch graphic — the symbol of victory — embroidered into its heel tab. The dedication continues within the sneaker, where a figure of Nike the goddess has been imprinted onto the insoles alongside the definition of the Nike name.
Dropping from Olympus soon — Dubbed the “Goddess of Victory,” these Air Force 1 Lows have yet to receive a release date, though their official imagery suggests they’ll hit the Nike website in the coming weeks. Each pair is expected to retail for $130 — although only some will leave the drop as victorious as Nike herself.