There was a time when safari prints were all the rage for your kicks. These days, though, they’ve become a rarity, having fallen out of fashion several years ago. But it’s been gone long enough that it’s refreshing to the eyes of new sneakerheads while coming on as nostalgic for the Tito generation.
Now slap a safari print on a sneaker design only released in limited quantities back in the day (The AIr Max 1 Big Bubble), adapt the colorway from one of kicks designer Tinker Hatfield’s old notebooks, and you’ve got people paying attention.
Not the best but it really isn’t bad for what it is—a throwback sneaker. The only leather parts for this shoe are the mudguards and swoosh; the rest are made out of fabric. The shoe as a whole, however, is well made. This is a solid shoe—I’ve been using it as a beater, and I see it lasting. Only complaint: it had toebox creases.
The swoosh is marketing this as a “lost sketch” from Tinkers’ original design for the Air Max. However, while I admire the overall look (Gotta love the elephant print!), I feel that it lacks a vibrancy which could have been provided by color. The present colorway is fine but could use a bit more ooomph. The “Air” written in the sail midsole is a nice touch, however—very Off-White.
It’s very retro, with the elephant print only making it more so. That makes it a win in my book, but it does limit what you can wear it with at times. And while blue is a very neutral color, it isn’t as universal as say, black or white. On the feet, they’re extremely comfy—and not just for an Air Max but for sneakers in general. That it provides just enough squish with firm support is a pleasant surprise. And the fabric upper makes the shoe hug your feet comfortably. Stick to your size for this one and you’ll be happy.
As with most sneakers today, you can grab them at most retail stores—and priced decently at that. You may be able to still find these on shelves despite the popularity of the Big Bubble. Grab them while you can.
These would probably attract the older set or the young sneakerhead with an appreciation for the classics. I’d liken these to Halo Halo at the Pen—nostalgic for the Titos yet classic enough to make the next Gen interested.
[An old school sneaker enthusiast, Rhobee Pilares enjoys street fashion, toys, cars, food and the excitement of busy, bustling cities. You can often catch him at coffee shops reading on the latest media trends. IG @rhobeelicious.]
Photos by Rhobee Pilares