END. invited five protagonists to self shoot an editorial using the Nike Air Rift, celebrating the shoe’s progressive styling and technical credentials.
Nike has remained in a perpetual state of experimentation since day one, constantly researching, innovating and evolving to produce some of the most cutting-edge footwear created. Each decade has seen a near-endless list of footwear that all existed — and, in many cases, still exists — way ahead of its time. In 1996, Nike released a sneaker which epitomised this progressive approach to footwear design: the Nike Air Rift, a shoe created with input from barefoot long-distance runners in Kenya. It was, and still is to this day, as striking in its appearance as the tech that underpinned it — part sneaker, part sandal, part exploration into form and function.
The boldest feature came by way of its toe — it was split down the middle, inspired by the Great Rift Valley fault line, which created articulation between a runner’s first and second toes, thus encouraging a more natural motion with every stride and step. The sole unit was a product of Nike’s steadfast research and development, too; it featured Nike Air cushioning alongside a unique traction pattern, which was rigorously tested to ensure optimum grip. The open top, sandal-like uppers were equally as performance minded, with breathable mesh and stretchy neoprene to further the barefoot feel.
Now, 27 years after its debut, the Nike Air Rift is making its return — a fitting moment given the bubbling over of technical apparel into the wider fashion sphere. END. invited five protagonists, Anchana Hobson, Annabel Pritchard, Eve Carol, Marj Moore and Megan Trong, to self shoot an editorial, showcasing their own progressive styling that mirrors the ethos underpinning the Air Rift.