Nike Basketball’s releases over the past 20 years represent the definition and redefinition of the hoops shoe. A 20-year work-in-progress. In 2004, the Nike Air Zoom Huarache 2K4 was born.
“The idea was to bring back classic basketball design principles in a very modern way.”- Eric Avar
To understand how far Nike had pushed the language of basketball shoe design, by 2004 experimentation had almost become a norm, meaning a clean, classic look looked downright subversive.
The Nike Air Zoom Huarache emerged from conversations with lead designer Eric Avar and the rest of the team regarding the nature of bold and expressive shoes of the prior decade. “It was very good for the athletes and for the marketplace, but we questioned whether we were being bold and crazy for the sake of it. How could we return to more purposeful and ‘grounded’ product?”
Balancing modern and classic was the Nike Air Zoom Huarache 2K4’s purpose and Eric and the team had a new kind of player in mind, operating in a zone that was neither Force, Flight nor Uptempo. “From a functional standpoint, thinking forward to the emergence of players like Kobe and his versatility — that was the driving functional inspiration behind the product.”
Studying the original Nike Air Flight Huarache’s innovation, insights and exoskeleton fit, plus the Air Force 1 from a classic aesthetic standpoint, the Nike Air Zoom Huarache 2K4 made a statement on its own terms, yet was rooted in earlier masterpieces. Having seen tiny swooshes, reverse swooshes and vast swooshes on recent shoes, Eric was keen to return to Nike’s roots. “For the 2K4 we were doing a big, old-school quarter panel swoosh to make it loud and proud and bring that back.”
The lightweight Phylon sole, low-to-the court Nike Zoom responsiveness, formfitting leather/suede upper and evolved, integrated version of the ankle strap all added up to a new performance standard for Nike Basketball: a shoe built for explosiveness and quickness with a great ride.
As a further nod to its original predecessor, the Nike Air Zoom Huarache 2K4 debuted on the courts of college basketball in March during the height of hype and basketball fervor. Sound familiar? This time young athletes took advantage of modern technology, adding personal words of inspiration to the shoes through NIKEiD.com.
Moving from spring to summer, the Nike Air Zoom Huarache 2K4 would enjoy time on the feet of basketball athletes.
There’s a reason it took several years for another shoe to earn the right of the Huarache moniker. With a sleek silhouette that shifted the prevailing mindset, as well as an influence that can be seen still today on Nike Basketball shoes, the Nike Air Zoom Huarache 2K4 sent basketball design down yet another exciting new path.
In celebration of the summer of basketball, we’re revisiting our most iconic Nike Basketball shoes of the past 20 years. Learn more.
The Mercurial CR7 Melhor boots celebrate Cristiano Ronaldo's latest accomplishment.
The Mercurial CR7 Melhor boots celebrate Cristiano Ronald...
Nike honors Lieke with unique boots.
Kilgore shares his memories of the original design process and the surprise of discovering that the silhouette had, in effect, “blown up."
Kilgore shares his memories of the original design proces...
The young athletes shoe is now available.
It's now available on the Nike App, nike.com and at select retailers.
Want It All is about working hard, playing with confidence and style at every level of the game. From the neighborhood streets to the NBA court, Donte wants it all.
Want It All is about working hard, playing with confidenc...
The new women’s shoe collection is available October 27 via the SNKRS App and at retailers worldwide.
The new women’s shoe collection is available October 27 v...
The Nike AF1 A-COLD-WALL* is available October 21 exclusively at the A-COLD-WALL* pop-up in London.
The Nike AF1 A-COLD-WALL* is available October 21 exclusi...
James’s long-time designer dishes on the benefits of knit, the benefits of Max Air and delivering a new aesthetic.
James’s long-time designer dishes on the benefits of knit...
More choice and an all-new shopping experience mean there’s something for everyone — and every workout. This simple guide can help you find your perfect pair(s).
More choice and an all-new shopping experience mean there...
Nike’s first football boot built in Montebelluna, the Air GX, hit the pitch in 1997. The fabled facility updates the classic boot with the new Hypervenom GX, launching today.
Nike’s first football boot built in Montebelluna, the Air...
The partnership, in its twentieth year, will see Nike continue to design and supply apparel to the twenty-five football, futsal and beach football teams within the Portuguese Football Federation, as well as support the continued growth of the women’s game.
The partnership, in its twentieth year, will see Nike con...
The Jordan Brand Holiday ‘17 collection evolves the brand’s iconic heritage while shaping its future. From performance to sportswear to training, Holiday ‘17 is designed to help athletes Fly Above on and off the court.
The Jordan Brand Holiday ‘17 collection evolves the brand...
The Italian designer’s latest NikeLab collection offers a new take on the Air Force 1 and classic garments, including a luxury Nike Destroyer Jacket and an all-new Oxford shirt. The collection launches October 12 in North America, October 20 in Paris and October 21 globally.
The Italian designer’s latest NikeLab collection offers a...