Nike Just Brought Back the Shoe That Inspired This Year’s Top Sneakers

nike daybreak mobile
Nike Inc.

With summer officially underway and 2019 at its halfway point, the year’s best sneakers are beginning to show themselves. Consistent with seasons past, Nike runs the table for the award of “best in show.” Whether it be the collaborative Travis Scott x Air Jordan 1, the Sacai x Nike LDWaffle, or the recently released UNDERCOVER x Nike Daybreak, each contender distorts a nostalgic silhouette with modern design ethos. 

Nike’s triumphs this year first came to be in the mid-1980s, when each of the aforementioned styles were either created or found their creative inspiration. The Sacai x Nike LDWaffle and the UNDERCOVER x Nike Daybreak share an even tighter connection. Crafted by Japanese designers Chitose Abe and Jun Takahashi, respectively, they share the original Nike Daybreak as inspiration.

nike daybreak 1600
Nike x Undercover / Nike Inc.

The Daybreak was originally released in 1984 and quickly became the preferred shoe for marathon runners due in large part to the efforts of Joan Benoit Samuelson—the first-ever women’s Olympics marathon champion. Yet with more than three decades of market innovations and advancements in running-specific technology in the years following the shoe’s launch, it has maintained a place in today’s lifestyle-driven space.

The earliest iteration of the Daybreak was produced in lightweight nylon and supple suede, set above a waffle outsole that, of course, Nike grew famous for. Its modern makeup features a similar execution with contemporary updates, further fueled by exuberant panache colors that add an adoring hue to the vintage style. It’s a welcome refresher to a time-honored relic, and the way Nike went about its reintroduction had nothing to do with luck. 

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Nike Daybreak SP / Nike

The retro formula is simple: re-populate a sneaker alongside a well-known streetwear brand or high fashion label. Said shoe will be very limited and nearly impossible to secure, generating hype within the sneaker community not only for the brand affiliation but for the shoe itself. Soon thereafter, Nike will release the sneaker in much larger numbers to a wider audience, newly rich in cultural currency. 

The indomitable ‘80s Daybreak SP model is poised to be another big hit for Nike. In the same way that experts claim that just showing up is half the battle, the Daybreak being readily available for just $100 gives the shoe a comfortable lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Odds are, Nike’s going to win this game by a large margin, and their heritage models will continue to drive the market.

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