Nike is taking a step into dancing with the brand-new Air Sesh designed by the legendary Tinker Hatfield. To tailor to dancers’ specific needs, Hatfield and Nike turned to the Los Angeles dance crew Kinjaz for their input in the design process. And according to one member, wearing the Air Sesh feels like “cheating.”
The mid-cut sneaker features a wider toe box so as to allow more room for dancers’ digits, while the midsole is made up of Cushlon foam with high flexibility in addition to Zoom Air cushioning at the heel. To help dancers slide or come to a stop as they need, the Air Sesh’s outsole is split into a slippery rubber on the medial side and sticky rubber on the lateral, with a knife-edge also providing stability.
“I think the notion that dancers are athletes and artists is an important topic,” Hatfield said in a video revealing the design process. “Historically, dancers were appropriating other sneakers that were not really designed for them. It was time for me to put pen to paper to help these athletes perform better.”
Throwback to the Nike Disco — In 2012, Nike released a five-in-one Studio Wrap with a barefoot-like feel to cater to the unique needs of studio classes — but to find a Swoosh-designed sneaker specifically for dancing you’ll have to go back to 1977 and the disco era.
Legend has it that a Nike sales rep frequented Studio 54 and made an agreement to create a shoe just for the club’s employees. Thus the Nike Disco was born, with a shimmery silver upper, glittery detailing, and a slick bottom to make the sneaker danceable. The sneaker was brought back as a “retro” in 2012, and it would go on to inspire vibrant color schemes for other models.
Jumping back to today, the Air Sesh is slowly rolling out to Nike members through the brand’s app (not SNKRS). You can check the Nike app for availability of the $110 sneaker, and if you’re lucky you’ll be amongst the first to dance the night away in the Air Sesh.