The 2010 U.S. Open in Flushing, NY began not long ago, so in keeping with topical sports news, this week’s Sneaker News Classics Revisited features the Nike Air Tech Challenge Future of 1993. Back in the early 90′s the sport of tennis was electrified by Andre Agassi, who stuck out like a sore thumb with his long wavy locks, bright tennis gear, and of course, his Nikes. The Nike Air Tech Challenge series featured a number of tennis-court specific designs, with a Mid cut, visible Air cushioning, and most notably its super-bright colorblocking, but the Air Tech Challenge Future was a clear aberration to the historic tennis/trainer line – perhaps an explanation of the inclusion of ‘Future’ in the already proud Air Tech Challenge name.
The Nike Air Tech Challenge Future was unlike its predecessors in that it featured a higher cut with Huarache-like windows like the Nike Flight Huarache and Direct Flight of 1992. Also added to the ATC Future was the in-step strap and the multi-colored sock-liner – much like the Nike Trainer Huarache that released in a similar time-period. Nike’s Tennis and Cross-training voluminous catalogs combined with the frequent ‘crossing-over’ between sport designs. In fact the Huarache design was applied across the board of most Nike silhouettes during that era, so it’s quite apparent that the Air Tech Challenge Future falls right within that trend. Despite its ‘Future’ designation, we have yet to see another shoe like this – visible Air, instep-strap, multi-colored sockliner, net-like medial pattern – but perhaps its better that this classic is kept in the Nike vault.