When I first saw Nike and Japanese luxury sportswear brand Sacai’s collaborative effort, the LD Waffle, in 2019, I knew they were going to grab everyone’s attention. – hypebeasts who may not wear them at all but have to have them, to people who work in the Storage and Organization section at IKEA who just think they look like they could stay there for eight hours. They had a beautifully chaotic look that could appeal to anyone interested in innovative footwear.
Sure enough, they sold out immediately – and quickly hit the resale market for over $1,200 a pair. (They’re still $520 now.) Although it’s a scandalous price to pay for a pair of trainers – especially as there have been over 10 versions released over the course of two years – you could definitely see the appeal of the trainers, if you could overcome the fog of a hype relentless media.
This haze is exactly why I was so intrigued by Nike’s most pedestrian – and available, $100 or $110 for the SE – 2021 model followed by the popular hybrid sneaker, the Nike Waffle One.
I admit it’s hard to follow in the footsteps of a sneaker that many consider the best of the year, but Nike has sought to retain as many important features as possible in order to keep both hypebeasts and employees alike. from IKEA on board. And as someone who falls between these two consumers – and who was lucky enough to get my hands on a few pairs of LD Waffles – I wanted to test these Nikes on paper to make sure they performed well. .
Here’s what you can expect from the Nike Waffle One.
What I like about the Nike Waffle One:
He makes great use of his materials.
Personally, I’m a sucker for sneakers that use suede as the predominant material. I know that’s not always practical, especially if this was a real running shoe – but as a pro athlete I can assure you that these were specifically designed for athleisuring ( which, again, I’m a professional).
Soft suede has the perfect nap. It really pops against the translucent mesh toe box that wraps all the way around the rear heel tab, which is capped with the contrasting leather Nike swoosh. The company has even modernized the tongue, moving from the exposed foam of yesteryear to a stunning fusion of performance and pure aesthetics.
The toebox, the karaoke machine of this sneaker.
Probably the best part of the shoe – especially if you compare it to the LDWaffle – is the improved translucent toe box. Not only does it help keep these socks super light and comfy, but being able to wear a fun pair of socks – or even just a plain white or black pair to let a bit of your personality shine through the toes and midsection – is a gimmick that puts the cheeks in the proverbial seats. It’s kind of like a karaoke machine that gives you a little help with music and lyrics, but lets you put it all together with your voice.
They are very comfortable, for a shoe inspired by a 1970s classic.
The original line of Nike Waffle sneakers were released in the early 1970s to much fanfare, particularly the Waffle Racer, which took the popular protruding rubber sole and sat it on a lightweight, cushioned EVA midsole for a maximum comfort. (It’s a feature Nike still uses to this day — with some minor 21st century tech tweaks, of course.)
The Waffle One has a double stacked midsole with an updated arch to protect our delicate feet and a TPU heel cup for extra support. I don’t want overly padded shoes when I’m active, but I don’t want to feel like I’m walking barefoot either. And again, although I can’t imagine myself running a marathon in these…it’s just because I can’t imagine myself running a marathon already.
Nike Waffle One: the verdict
These Nikes are slim and sleek, and they will also make you look cool.
While the LDWaffle was absolutely a piece of the shoe due to its dual, well, everything, the slim profile of the Waffle One immediately gives off more laid-back vibes. Between the overall profile of the shoe and the stitched low-cut collar, they give my Fred Flintstone-esque clodhoppers a delicate look and feel. I regularly struggle to find thin shoes – but lo and behold, the Waffle One is my glass slipper.
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