Andrew Agassi-endorsed Swoosh silhouettes are making a triumphant return in 2014, thanks in part to his classic Nike Air Tech Challenge Huarache. First released in 1992 when the long-haired hitter was dominating the tour, the Huarache Tech Challenges feature the progressive neoprene inner-boot to go along with a complex upper and Air Max heel. This new retro style code uses grey nubuck for its upper panels, contrasted with light blue lining and outsole. White accents and a zig-zag heel clip join a heavily speckled midsole to add more detailing to this ’90s style. Swing through and grab a pair today at size?.
Air Tech Challenge Huarache
Andre Agassi’s return to Nike has had fans of footwear and tennis eagerly awaiting retro releases. While the Nike Air Tech Challenge II released in quickstrike fashion with a “Wimbledon” exclusive overseas, a proper retail launch is yet to happen in 2013. Today, we get a look at the upcoming Nike Air Tech Challenge Huarache retro. Never re-released before, this “Tour Yellow” colorway sees an OG bring back from 1992. Take a look at these pics from The Shoe Game below and stay tuned for more info on these Andre Agassi shoes.
The reunion of Andre Agassi and Nike has produced its first offspring in the Nike Air Tech Challenge Huarache. We find the return of the sneaker sporting an all-new colorway that’s no less flashy than its counterparts. Black nubuck is used as a base for the multi-paneled tennis shoe while bright red-orange and purple provide the accents. Falling in line with previous Huaraches, the shoe features a sock-like inner bootie and windows exposing the ankle. On the schedule to drop sometime in Spring 2014, release details are still vague, so stay tuned to Nice Kicks for more updates as they arise.
Andre Agassi is back with Nike, but what does this mean for sneakerheads? Much like Michael Jordan or even Allen Iverson, Andre Agassi changed the game, dress code, and culture of his sport. His accolades are heralded, his outfits are iconic, and Nike has a chance to refresh our memories and our rotations thanks to this recent announcement. While we do some waiting, we’ll also do some wanting. Take a look at some of the things we’d like to see from Andre Agassi and Nike’s new partnership.
Decades ago, the tennis category was the premier sector in athletic footwear. The term ‘tennis shoes’ proves such, as the kicks built for court and clay had the original crossover appeal to casual wear. Tennis footwear was pivotal not only on the casual forefront, but also in the signature shoe movement. Rod Laver, Stan Smith, John McEnroe, Andre Agassi, Michael Chang, Pete Sampras, and many more endorsed models that were big at the time and still see wear today.
In retro lore, we’ve seen basketball, football, and baseball all make waves in recent years. The likes of Penny Hardaway, Bo Jackson, and Ken Griffey Jr. have seen their signature lines sellout in stores and even spawn new and updated models. Could Aggasi’s return to Nike see the same effect? We’ve seen Tech Challenge retros and even hybrids, but none with Agassi tagging.
Return of Agassi Apparel
Of all the Nike’s historic signature athletes, Andre Agassi may have the strongest clothing collection. The fact that he played an individual sport allowed him to make memories in his own apparell without being limited to team uniforms and league regulations. The acid washed denim and vibrant prints were a total culture shock to the country club sport, while practicality of polos and shorts prove more wearable than most jerseys or gym trunks. We’ve seen Jordan Brand re-release Flight Suits and more as of late, will Nike do the same for Agassi?
Return to Rock N Roll Attitude in Tennis
Agassi’s influence on the game of tennis is huge in regard to both accolades and style. In the late ’80s and early ’90s, Agassi ushered in a rock ‘n roll wave that brought more color and personality to the typically reserved game. These days we see Rafa Nadal rocking bright hues on the court, but not much of that gear gets wear in the mainstream. Could Agassi’s return to Nike see bolder tennis gear hit the clay and even crossover to casual wear?
Renewed Interest in the Game of Tennis
It’s hard to say if Griffey retros have sparked more sneakerheads to play baseball, but one would think that more shoe fans are watching America’s game due to the influx of cleat heat on the diamond. Whether or not sneakerheads will pick up rackets due to Agassi’s comeback is unknown. What is certain is that there will be efforts made for increased physical activity amongst the youth. While Agassi has retired from giving lessons on the big stage of pro tennis, he hasn’t retired from giving back. Much of his reunion with Nike has to do with his philanthropic ventures focused around physical activity and education initiatives that both parties have been pushing as of late. Look for Agassi to work with Nike on the Designed to Move campaign.
Agassi Retros with Upgrade Technology
The purist in us wants to see the Agassi line return in OG form. With that said, we’re not against technical updates to the collection. At first glance, the sharp lines of the Tech Challenge could take well to Flywire while Hyperfuse could reconstruct the Flare. Such styling has proven popular on other iconic Nike franchises, but has never been seen on a tennis signature.
Tennis Sneaker Influence on Future Models
Aside from being the signature shoe for Kanye West, the Nike Air Yeezy 2 really benefited from using the midsole from Agassi’s Tech Challenge 2. At the time of the Yeezy 1, using the Air Jordan 3/Air Revolution midsole was a novel idea, but since then retro basketball attributes have been rather worn out on new models. Perhaps Agassi’s return to Nike could result in more tennis nods on today’s new footwear releases. We’ve already seen similarities to court models on the KD V Elite, maybe more tennis influence is to come.
Much like the Fab Five changed basketball, Andre Agassi changed tennis. His rock and roll persona amped up the quiet game drawing the attention of the MTV generation and Hollywood elite. The man behind the racquet scored many endorsements over his career but none as big as Nike. His vibrant signatures changed the image of “tennis shoe,” adding color to a once dull genre. Now that Agassi has once again joined the Nike team, we take a look at his 10 best kicks in hopes that we will see them back on shelves in the near future.