When creating the Nike Huarache, legendary shoe designer Tinker Hatfield took inspiration from neoprene water skiing shoes, because he really appreciated the comfort and support they offered. As a result of this, throughout the 90s, the Nike Huarache was known as the most comfortable basketball shoe on the market.
The Nike Huarache rose to fame through unconventional means, when the University of Michigan recruited five freshmen for their basketball team. The players, who became known as the Fab 5, took a new approach to what they wore on the court and ditched the short shorts for hip-hop inspired long shorts, and took to wearing trainers that clashed with their uniforms – particularly the Huarache. The team’s flashy approach to playing ball made them icons on and off the court and helped propel the shoe to fame.
In the UK, the Nike Huarache fit the moment perfectly and rode the wave of raga style streetwear. The combination of Huarache and tracksuit swept across the country in the 90s and became an unexpected fashion icon. In more recent times the shoes have experienced a resurgence, which is mostly down to infamous reality TV star Joey Essex.