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The Nike Rawdacious Colorway Celebrates the Unity of Sport

July 01, 2021 - Nike’s Rawdacious colorway palette for Tokyo — a combination of white as a primary, with components of pink blast, total orange and bright crimson — is another example of how Nike uses color to imbue deep cultural, psychological and emotional value in its footwear.

“Color has the nuanced ability to invite both reaction and reflection at once,” says Martha Moore, Nike VP, Central Color Product Design. “You see a color, and you immediately react in a certain way. Color can also open the door to history, connections to other disciplines and to memory. In creating this year’s palette, we worked to consider color holistically to best represent a moment in time.”

Nike designers looked to historical precedent — moments in time when world events put sport on hold — and the spirit that flourished upon its triumphant return. The Rawdacious colorway symbolizes that exuberance of reuniting through sport in the palette's warm tones, signaling new beginnings.

The palette is grounded in a white base to connote unity (it comprises all hues within the visible light spectrum) as well as a return to square one. The layout of colors also act as a beacon to draw attention to the footwear’s technical components. For example, the visible Zoom Air bag in Nike Running silhouettes like the Air Zoom Maxfly sprint spike are highlighted by volt green and bordered and exaggerated by orange detailing. Similar to negative space in art, says Moore, it’s through white space that other parts of the object can sing.

The result is a color system that Moore says instills a deeper meaning for athletes, whether that athlete is running for gold or just around the block.

“Let’s be clear: I’ll never, ever wear a track spike to compete in a race,” says Moore. “But I would wear a lifestyle, color-related model of a spike because something about it spoke to me at a specific time in my life. It was meaningful to the world, and it was meaningful to me. Color can distill all of those values in a millisecond.”

The Rawdacious colorway of select performance and lifestyle products will release on nike.com throughout the summer.

Check out Nike Gallery for more info on Tokyo innovations.

February 29, 2016 - Upon its release in 1991, the Air Max BW was an immediate hit with distance runners. Since then, the striking silhouette has been a favorite of club kids worldwide.

Retooled for lightweight comfort, the Air Max BW Ultra arrives in Midnight Navy on March 3 at Nike.com.

February 29, 2016 - Upon its release in 1991, the Air Max BW was an immediate hit with distance runners. Since then, the striking silhouette has been a favorite of club kids worldwide.

Retooled for lightweight comfort, the Air Max BW Ultra arrives in University Red on March 3 at Nike.com.

February 29, 2016 - Upon its release in 1991, the Air Max BW was an immediate hit with distance runners. Since then, the striking silhouette has been a favorite of club kids worldwide.

Retooled for lightweight comfort, the Air Max BW Ultra arrives in Black on March 3 at Nike.com.

February 29, 2016 - Upon its release in 1991, the Air Max BW was an immediate hit with distance runners. Since then, the striking silhouette has been a favorite of club kids worldwide.

Retooled for lightweight comfort, the Air Max BW Ultra arrives in Enamel Green on March 3 at Nike.com.

February 12, 2016 - The Nike Flyknit Racer returns in one of its original colorways: Blue Cactus, which celebrates Abdi Abdirahman, the first marathoner to qualify for the games in the shoe.

February 09, 2016 - The Kobe Mentality 2 — featuring a Flyweave upper and full-length Lunarlon midsole — is now available in fierce purple/black/university gold.

February 08, 2016 - The Kobe Mentality 2 — featuring a Flyweave upper and full-length Lunarlon midsole — is now available in white/wolf grey/black.

February 04, 2016 - The Michigan State University Spartans will add these special KOBE 11 Elite PEs to their rotation through March Madness.

February 03, 2016 - The University of Kentucky's special KOBE 11 Elite PEs will soon take to the court.