December 28th, 2012 by Sneaker News
In a list laden with server-crashing sneakers, wallet busters, and uber-limited releases, one unassuming rookie managed to quietly insert itself into the footwear landscape as a reminder that it doesn’t take an absurd amount of bells and whistles to make a hugely desirable shoe. That sneaker was the Nike Roshe Run, the brainchild of Nike designer Dylan Raasch, who took a Zen approach in whipping up this modern day masterpiece. The chunky foam outsole was modeled after stepping stones in a Zen garden, the insole made to mimic the look of a freshly raked rock garden, and the fan-favorite ‘Iguana’ colorway was even crafted as an homage to the foliage and scenery in such a setting. The shoe was created with the goal of keeping things as simple as possible, rather than trying to squeeze more mileage than necessary out of the $70 price tag. The result was a lightweight and breathable sneaker that immediately made sense once you put them on your feet.
What’s more, the Roshe was a sneaker that arrived without any bearings of the dreaded “hype”, simply showing up on shelves back in March with its pliable shape and alluring price. It didn’t take long for folks to catch on, with even the hard to please collective shoe-fiend hivemind lauding the Nike Roshe Run early on. With little push or promotion from Nike, the Roshe still managed to disappear
from store shelves upon arrival. Out of the gate color-ups like the blacks and the reds went first, with the subsequent scramble over gems like the ‘Calypso’ and ‘Iguana’ from the next wave proving that the Roshe was indeed in high demand with no signs of slowing down. Meanwhile, the low pricepoint ensured that people weren’t afraid to break them out of the box, the sneaker no doubt seeing more mileage as a whole than higher entries on this list due to their imminent wearability. It was not a shoe that screamed “put me on ice for the next five years”, but rather “put me on pavement as soon as possible!”
The Nike Roshe Run was truly the definition of a sleeper hit, a phenomenon that nobody saw coming and one that laughed at the high pricetags of the bleeding edge designs being cooked up across campus in Beaverton. It was a sneaker that surprised all of us, its quiet release sort of hearkening back to the days when you would stroll into a brick and mortar spot, see something new, and walk out with a sneaker you never knew existed. The Roshe Run without a doubt deserves its spot amongst the cream of the crop from this year, and is a shoe surely destined to join a celebrated roster of Nike cult classics that will be eagerly gobbled up anytime they make their way back to retailers.
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