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Today we want to introduce you to a sneaker of the late 1980s, the Nike Air Trainer 1, which celebrates its 35th birthday this year. However, the model has not aged, as evidenced by the two versions of the Nike Air Trainer 1 Utility already available with us, which feature some innovations. We have special attention first on the classic White/Black/Medium Grey colorway of the Nike AT1, which will have its worldwide release on Tuesday, March 22nd and which you can get from us in the Overkillshop.

The Air Trainer 1 was designed by Nike designer Tinker Hatfield in the mid 1980s. Hatfield was already known for his innovative approach to designing sneakers back then, and so it occurred to him that many athletes were only wearing two types of training shoes for their workouts, a lightweight shoe for running and a sturdy, heavier shoe for strength training. With the Air Trainer 1, he combined the two, to save athletes from having to change footwear. He thus designed the world’s first cross training sneaker. Interestingly, one of the first athletes to test this new cross training shoe was the famous tennis bully John McEnroe. He liked the shoe not only for its performance characteristics on the tennis court, but especially for its novel look, because no one understand the strap over the forefoot at that time. It was definitely a unique look. Even today, McEnroe says he is proud to have had a hand in the development of the AT1. With the Nike Air Trainer 1, Nike began a long and successful series of so-called cross training shoes, which were not designed exclusively for one sport, but focused on the athlete as a multi-talent.

The most famous colorway of the Nike Air Trainer is the so-called “Chlorophyll” Air Trainer 1, which with its light green details on the tongue, the upper lace eyelets, the Nike Air logo on the heel and the Nike lettering on the strap sets beautiful color accents on the white-gray-black upper of the Air Trainer 1. The shoe, which will be released on March 22, cannot serve with the legendary chlorophyll green, but the matte mint green also makes a very good impression. Light gray nubuck overlays sit on top of the white leather base, which is complemented by the black smooth leather Swoosh and a smooth leather overlay that is also black and originally served to stabilize the forefoot. The latter serves as the attachment point for the strap, which connects directly to the toebox and lays over the lower end of the lacing. A white nylon tongue finishes off this wonderful shoe.

But as mentioned above, this colorway isn’t the only one we have to offer at Overkillshop. We recently added two modernized “Utility” versions of the Nike Air Trainer 1, whose look deviates a bit from the original look of the shoe. For example, the strap over the forefoot of these versions was not attached with Velcro, but by a plug-in buckle. Furthermore, the laces above the tongue are guided by small loopholes of a sewn-on, slightly wider band, which make it practically impossible for the tongue to slip to the side. At the upper end of the tongue, the aforementioned band protrudes over the tongue as a pull tab. Also eye-catching are the tribal-like silver embellishments on various parts of the shoe. The interesting thing here is that all these areas are made of 3M material and thus reflect light in the dark. Both the colorway labeled “Coriander” and the “Dark Smoke Grey” colorway feature this characteristic. The rest of the upper has also received a makeover in terms of materials. So we find a great mix of ripstop and ballistic mesh, as well as the already used nubuck and smooth leather.

If you are now up for one of the three Nike Air Trainer 1 available from us, check out our Overkill Onlineshop, or come around and visit us in one of our stores in Berlin and Köln…. on March 22nd at the latest, when the classic AT1 will have its release.

Text by Ernie Beckmann