Newly available at the UK’s Crooked Tongues are a trio of colorways for the Nike Elite VNTG from Nike Sportswear.
The Nike Elite is a classic piece of Nike running design. It doesn’t get much simpler than this 1977 model’s mix of nylon and suede, but this shoe paved the way for much of what came next. At this point, Nike’s experiments in the lightweight, resilient benefits of nylon fabrics for athletics were writing the future, with both adidas and Nike at war for market dominance. Support was the real challenge though and suede panels delivered where it was necessary, making these some of the best racing flats on the market, with a wider last and that pre-Air dual density EVA sole delivering shock absorption. Running’s golden age meant umming and aahing over shoes like this and the adidas TRX — a tough decision indeed. By 1978, the Elite became a bestseller among serious runners and hobbyists alike, manufactured in both Japan and the USA. Earlier this year we stocked an excellent VNTG edition of the original colourway, but this trio is a curious fusion of a distance sole and the Elite upper, rather than the lower profile of the original unit, making this a distance runner rather than a racer. It’s a very subtle hybrid, but it makes for an LDV with nylon rather than mesh and loses the Elite identity a tad. But beyond the comparisons, it does result in three very nice shoes (pointless brown yellowing on the laces aside — seriously, somebody needs to stop that) that are a nice little archive revamp. We’re almost certain that this variant probably appeared somewhere back in the days, but we prefer the real deal. Still, we can’t deny the appeal of the makeups, homaging iconic past colours pretty nicely. These drop in the Crooked Tongues store this week.