One week after Nike announced real-life autolacing (check out the HyperAdapt 1.0 here), I got a chance to break out the next best thing: the Back to the Future-inspired Nike Swoosh Hunter. The second I saw these leak back in February, I knew I had to cop. Swoosh Hunters are the definition of "god damn cool": a Maison Martin Margiela-influenced high fashion sneaker, refinished in Nike design language, with an outsole that puts the lunar lander to shame.
First up, the packaging is quite literally out of this world. A massive, 18" rectangle finished in iridescent silver holds two pristine shoes inside. In direct light, it shimmers. I don't know how often I would ever take this box outside, but kudos to Nike for the detailing. Of all the limited editions I've ever owned, the Swoosh Hunter wins for experience - and that's before you even slip them on.
Then, there's the shoes themselves: like any good vision of the future, Swoosh Hunters are entirely laceless. Gone is the vestigial nylon and plastic holding the shoe to your foot; Swoosh Hunters fit snugly around your ankle by way of a wraparound velcro strap. They're a bulky shoe, yet surprisingly lightweight for their footprint. On a scale from wooden clogs to Ultra Boosts, they're relatively comfortable shoes. Ultimately, it's still leather and plastic on top of a rigid rubber outsole with very little cushion between you and the turf. For its category, however, it's not bad. This is a Nike shoe. If you've ever worn MMM Future Highs or similar fashion high tops, it's a massive improvement.
Regardless of their looks, I've resigned myself to the idea that my Nike Swoosh Hunters will be a "blue moon" wear at best. Simply put, they're hard to pull off. In techy fits, they outshine their box. And if I had the wardrobe to pull off the rapper-turned-nomad #streetwear look, these would no doubt be a weekly rotation. Instead, I'm a goofy-looking white kid who likes Back to the Future and avant-garde fashion. I wear more button-ups than I do Givenchy kilts. Sadly, that means I won't wear more Swoosh Hunter, either.
That being said, I do not regret my purchase. I bought these shoes out of childlike love at first sight, and simply put, wearing them is a joy. Dollars-per-wear is for white Vans and winter boots. Besides, wearing them more would just get them dirty. While I may not get to rock Swoosh Hunters as often as I'd like, I know I'll love each time that I do. That alone was worth the price. Where I'm going, I don't need another joyless "staple shoe" - the Swoosh Hunters are here to blaze roads all of their own.
Enjoy the detail shots below, then let me know what you think in the comments: