Natural motion may be one of the leading schools of thought when it comes to running footwear today, but in 1996, running shoes were reaching peak cushioning. When Nike unleashed the Air Rift a minimalist, open topped, split toe shoe inspired by the barefoot runners of Kenya, it was considered, to put it mildly, odd.
2016 marks the Air Rift’s twentieth anniversary. The Rift is a polarizing design to this day, but you don’t reach a milestone like twenty years without some devoted fans; the shoe is definitely a cult classic amongst those with an individualist bent to their style.
Cluttering up the minimalism of the Rift, even to celebrate a milestone, would defeat the purpose of the shoe, so Nike opts to augment the standard construction with a textured suede upper and metallic swoosh on the toe, while a red, green, and black colored insole is a subtle nod to Kenya’s national flag.
If a size is not listed, it is sold out.