One of Nike’s most recognizable designs in their rich history is the Air Presto. Originally debuted during the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, the Presto instantly stood out among the competition. Marked as a “t-shirt for your feet” the Presto would defy what a running shoe should and shouldn’t be. One of the more unique aspects of the Air Presto was the sizing method; instead of using traditional numbers, Nike released their head turning kicks in XS, S, M, L and XL (like a t-shirt). Nike utilized an unconventional method of marketing the shoes when they first became public in 2000. Short, jarring ads appeared on TV and in print featuring 13 unique color schemes that instantly stood out. Tobie Hatfield (brother of fellow Nike legend, Tinker Hatfield) designed the shoe with the sole purpose of creating a new free-motion, breathable, and versatile runner. Unlike most of Nike’s products, there was only one Presto, no sequels. Tobie explains why perfectly with this quote, “People always ask me. Why didn’t we do a Presto 2? We did. It’s called Nike Free.”
Freakishly Fun to Wear
The Air Presto’s most notable feature is the Neoprene mesh that encompasses the upper. The use of this material directly ties into Hatfield’s intention of establishing a new standard for weight and breathability. Stripping away unnecessary weight with the exclusion of traditional materials like leather resulted in a shoe that could flex and expand to fit any foot uniquely. Neoprene mesh also allowed for endless possibilities for upper graphics and designs. Since 2015, the Presto has enjoyed a lengthy resurgence and sneakerheads have been thankful. New iterations like the Air Presto Ultra Flyknit and Presto Fly have retooled Hatfield’s 18-year-old design for a new generation. In 2017, Nike teamed up with creative artist Virgil Abloh’s brand, Off-White, to release a series of deconstructed Air Prestos that have quickly become some of the hottest shoes of the last decade. The Air Presto is almost chameleon-like with the unique ability to change colors to fit its environment. Below the Presto’s fantastic upper sits Nike’s trademarked Air technology along with a Phylon midsole and Duralon outsole that work together to create one of the smoothest rides in Nike’s catalog.
• Neoprene Mesh upper conforms to the shape of the foot to provide flexibility and breathability.
• Molded TPU midfoot cage offers additional support where you need it most.
• Rubber toe cap adds additional durability.
• Low-cut design for improved range of motion.
• Nike Air technology for a light, bouncy ride.
• Phylon™ midsole and Air-Sole® for lightweight responsive cushioning.
• Outsole features grippy traction and flex grooves for versatile movement.