This week, Nike unveiled their big plans for the relaunch of their ACG (All Conditions Gear) imprint, and while the new designs are clearly moving things into the future, we thought we’d take a look back at some of the best footwear from the line’s glorious past. Since its official introduction back in 1988, the Nike ACG category has always been counted on for performance, innovation, and some of the best colorways the sneaker world has ever seen. In this edition of Sneaker News NINE@NINE, we’re pinpointing nine crucial stops along the way for the incomparable ACG line, spanning from the early classics all the way up to some more recent gems. Continue on for an abridged crash course on the history of Nike All Conditions Gear footwear and stay tuned for more on the present day renaissance.
Nike Air Wildwood (1989)
The Air Wildwood sort of picked up where the Air Safari and Pegasus ACG concepts left off, but provided an even chunkier trail runner solution well-suited for outdoor terrain. The shoe helped put the newly formed ACG category on the map thanks to its impeccable shape and flowing lines, but also with the inclusion of the now revered ACG branding on the tongue and midsole.
Nike Air Mowabb (1991)
Taking some cues from his Air Huarache design, Tinker Hatfield created the Air Mowabb, a multi-purpose trail shoe that took a technical approach to rugged outdoor footwear. In addition to the Neoprene ankle boot and perfectly speckled midsole, the Mowabb’s most lasting impression was made by the iconic color scheme of the original, which has since gone on to become one of the most beloved (and appropriated) in Nike’s history.
Nike Air Superdome (1991)
ACG already had a hugely popular boot in the line thanks to the wild-colored Baltoro options, but that didn’t stop them from taking a big swing for the fences with the Superdome. Fetching a jaw-dropping $225 price tag back in 1991, the totally teched-out waterproof silhouette featured an extra-high cut with a Gore-Tex lining, full-length visible Air, and one of cleanest color ways to ever emerge from the ACG category.
Nike Air Terra (1991)
The original Air Terra is best remembered for its extra-bold colorway, but it had a lot more going for it than just that. The outdoor distance runner flaunted a super sleek silhouette with a cool fold-over tongue and lace cover, Air cushioning in the heel, and an outsole tread inspired by a mountain bike tire.
Nike Air Escape (1992)
The Air Escape filled in some middle-ground between the sleek technical feel of the Mowabb and chunkier boot offerings like the Baltoro. In effect, it was a pioneer of the sneaker boot concept, providing the protection of trail boot with the look and comfort of a sneaker. The Escape line also stands as a shining example of the ACG category’s unrivaled knack for combining drab earth tones with vibrant color pops.
Nike Air Revaderchi (1992)
As an unofficial follow-up to the iconic Mowabb model, the Air Revaderchi once again ran with the Huarache bootie idea, but outfitted the construction around it to be even more durable and versatile. With its molded heel and ankle strap system, the Revaderchi may not have surpassed its predecessor in popularity, but it certainly made some solid strides on the performance end.
Nike Air Dri-Goat (2000)
In the early 2000s, Nike somewhat revamped the ACG category with a new logo and some progressive-thinking new designs. One of the most intriguing offerings of the era was the Air Dri-Goat, an Alpha Project creation that featured a Gore-Tex-infused construction with a zip-up lace cover shroud, extra chunky outsole, and visible Air in the heel.
Nike Zoom Tallac (2003)
It’s hard to imagine a more high-tech looking boot than the Zoom Tallac. Sporting a super-light frame and comfy Zoom cushioning, the original Tallac offered a ripstop upper contained by an elaborate TPU cage and ankle strap system. While the original release featured a Gore-Tex lining, Nike brought an abridged version of the model back without it a few years later, known as the Zoom Tallac Lite.
Nike Lunar Macleay (2010)
There’s no question that the popularity of the Nike ACG category fizzled out a bit in the 2000s, but there have certainly been a few shining moments sprinkled in along the way, like 2010’s Lunar Macleay. A beautifully designed waterproof silhouette, the Macleay (named for a trail in Portland) incorporated some cornerstone ACG priniciples of the past with current Nike technology like Lunar cushioning.