Nike Epic Element 87 – The Rebel?

There’s a lot to be said for translucent/transparent uppers on shoes, not least of all it can be gimmicky or at the very least non-practical. And there has been many attempts to create a USP around this aesthetic. Previous swoosh led incarnations of blending see through materials on sneakers and giving it an actual performance function have been somewhat misguided and were met with novelty interest and upon wearing, tended to trap perspiration and gave you the unsightly, and quite uncomfortably moist toe box. (Espo artist series Air Force 2, and invisible woman Air Force 1, consider yourself outed. No apologies..)

But when successful experimentation with technical fabrics became possible, overcoming durability issues, running uppers were transformed from heavy-set to extremely light, making them more translucent by nature of achieving thinness of material to save weight and minimise movement lag. Coupled with ultra cushioned and dynamic soles like the React technology, itself born from running demands and intense research taking from what runners actually wanted in their sneakers performance, a new era of running sneaker had arrived.

The Super Lightweight runner.  For running. Right?

Well, no. Not exactly. Not on this model anyway, They made it as a lifestyle sneaker. And they debuted with an Undercover crossover at Paris Fashion Week earlier this year. And why not. It’s equally important, in the city streets and pretty much everywhere else, where demands of comfort and style need not be compromised. It pushed the boundaries of intended purpose re-appropriation, function and style, and that’s a good thing. And it is great approach. Sure the computational drilling method of finding pressure points in the midsole foam for pin-pointing enhanced articulation, and the super lightweight TPU wire uppers with minimal stitched lace tabs, might win 1st place and beat personal bests, and there are others for that. Many others. Oh, and did I say there’s cork insoles? There’s cork insoles.

It just looks dope as hell. With your Gucci stripes and Palace tops? This is how and why it looks like something new and unique. Its not fully see through, but we can live with that. Its ultra comfortable, and practically weightless. And the shape is sleeeek.

It’s born a thorough-breed, but raised a rebel.

We like it. A lot.




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