We recently caught up with Dylan Raasch, the designer behind Nike's latest export, the Huarache NM. We sat down with Dylan to talk through the new silhouette and what changes were made from the original Huarache.
Can you give us a little bit of information about your time at Nike?
I joined Nike in 2009 and have been in Sportswear since day one. I have always had a passion for the lifestyle side of footwear and the challenge of innovating through a sportswear lens so it’s where I feel most at home. Some shoes I have worked on like the Roshe and Air Max Thea are good examples of how we take Nike performance heritage and reinvent it for the lifestyle market.
Where did the original idea for the Huarache NM come from?
In sportswear we are always thinking about ways of leveraging technology and innovation to make our franchise models newer and better. The Huarache Natural Motion idea was born from the original Huarache advertisements that read “Have you hugged your feet today.” We were thinking of ways we could modernize the Huarache runner in terms of comfort making sure to honor its iconic style. Huaraches are known for being a comfortable shoe with a sock-like fit, so adding a modern Phylon outsole that had free properties seemed like the best solution for adding comfort under foot.
What elements did you want to keep from the Air Huarache back catalogue?
The best and maybe most iconic thing about the original Huarache runner was the neoprene inner sleeve. Today many popular shoes have adopted its comfortable fit system, so we knew it was the one iconic piece to keep from the original.
You have managed to combine aesthetic with functionality, which took priority?
At Nike function always comes first. It is in our DNA to find innovative solutions to functional problems and create a new aesthetic by doing so, that’s exactly what happened here. With this model comfort was our main priority. We knew we could make a really comfortable shoe but still push the aesthetic by using Nike technologies like free and flywire in a new way.
You’ve used a vast selection of materials and technologies, have any of them been developed exclusively for the Huarache NM?
For the natural motion outsole design the amount of foam was increased and the amount of rubber was decreased which reduced weight and increased cushioning. Oversized flex grooves were added in the forefoot to add flexibility and give it a natural motion-like feel. The biggest change on the upper design from the original Huarache was the addition of the oversize Nike Flywire-like laces. We thought it would be refreshing to play with proportions and exaggerate Nike technologies giving the shoe a new aesthetic.
You can purchase the Nike Huarache NM here