KNOW YOUR TECH breaks down the scientific technology used in your favorite sneakers and activewear. Let’s demystify your next purchase: today’s technology is Nike Huarache. Conceptualized by famed Nike designer Tinker Hatfield in 1991, this inner sleeve changed the way athletic shoes fit around the wearer’s foot and is still in use over two decades later.
What is it? A neoprene inner bootie that snugly fits around the wearer’s ankle and heel. Influenced by Tinker Hatfield’s water skiing shoes, the sandal-like construction is minimal yet incredibly functional. Initially, the model was introduced in the form of a runner and basketball sneaker, but since then it has been utilized on everything from lacrosse to baseball models.
How does it work? Instead of stretching in the toe area, the Huarache sleeve is designed to strech around the ankle collar. The stretchy neoprene construction acts more like a sock than a traditional sneaker, providing a snug, lockdown fit without restricting motion or flexibility.
Notable products: Huarache III Lacrosse Cleat, Huarache Pro Mid Metal, Free Huarache Light
Bottom line: There’s a reason that Huarache tech is still prominent more than 20 years since its introduction. This form-fitting design can benefit athletes of all levels and sports.