After years of telling people to ‘Just Do It’, Nike seems to have realized that there are time when even the fittest of sports fans want to do, well, nothing – particularly amid a global pandemic that has seen the majority of the world stuck inside for prolonged periods of time.
The brand flipped the narrative on its iconic catchphrase and made a move away from its fitness-focused footwear in order to launch a new shoe that is designed especially for relaxing and resting at home.
Described as an ‘anti-sneaker’, the Nike Offline is a cushioned mule that comes complete with a massaging sole that provides the ultimate relaxing experience for wearers – with the brand revealing that the shoes were ‘inspired by the mental health benefit of taking time to unplug and disconnect’.
Something different: Nike has launched a pair of anti-sneaker mules that are designed for times when people want to ‘just do nothing’
Downtime: Amid the coronavirus pandemic when many gyms have remained closed to the public, the brand made a break from its ‘Just Do It’ catchphrase to promote rest and relaxation
The Offline mules, which are due to be released on August 28 – and have yet to be priced – are a huge departure from the brand’s most popular sneaker styles, offering a design that is centered entirely around cushioned comfort rather than performance and style.
At a time when gyms across the US have been closed in order to prevent further spread of the COVID-19 virus, Nike is encouraging everyone to take advantage of the downtime and enjoy some much-needed rest and relaxation, both physically and mentally.
Comfort: The mules come complete with two interchangeable soles. One features special nubs that massage the feet, while the other (pictured) is meant to ensure comfort for prolonged wear
‘The new mule, anti-sneaker silhouette is designed for the moments when “doing nothing” is the most important thing for you to recharge,’ the brand said in a statement.
‘… this latest style embodies experimental design aesthetic and raw ingenuity.’
Nike’s Offline design has been created to ensure maximum comfort; the mules feature ‘exaggerated’ foam padding in the tongue, as well as an adjustable front strap that can be tightened or loosened depending on personal preference.
The mules also come with two insole options – Sensation 001 and Sensation 002 – which the wearer can change depending on their ‘mood and overall feeling’.
Sensation 001 has ‘strategically placed nubs’ that massage the foot as you wear the mules, while Sensation 002 offers ‘a greater volume nub pattern’ that is more comfortable for prolonged wear throughout the day.
The Nike Offline mules were met with a very mixed reaction online, with some praising the brand for the innovative new design, while others were left less than impressed by the funky product.
Relax: The mules, which come in two colors, also feature ‘exaggerated’ foam padding
Inspiration: The brand said that the shoes were ‘inspired by the mental health benefit of taking time to unplug and disconnect’
‘Them Nike Offline slides should have stayed all the way offline,’ one person joked, while another argued: ‘Big grandparent vibes and I’m here for it… Yes I’m in my 20s, why do you ask?’
Nike’s newest launch is a marked move away from its most recent design success – a collaboration with high-end fashion brand Dior that sold out within minutes of being made available online.
Five million people signed up for a chance to buy the Air Jordan 1 High OG Dior sneaker — nicknamed Air Dior — which was due to be released in April, before the launch was pushed back amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The wait — and the fact that Kylie Jenner has already had her pair for months — only seems to have drummed up more anticipation, with millions clamoring for a chance to splash out $2,000 a pop for the athletic shoes, which were made in very limited quantities.
The collaboration was first reviewed Dior’s Fall 2020 runway show in December 2019, and fans with cash to burn were expected to be able to shop the items — which also include ready-to-wear clothing and accessories — this spring.
According to the Dior website, the entire collection ‘balances timeless silhouettes from the Jordan and Dior vaults while bringing new life to classic sport styles’.
But while the entire collection became an instant must-have for monied fashion fanatics, the shoes have been particularly buzzworthy.
Contrast: Nike unveiled its Offline mules just days after it launched its collaboration with high-end fashion brand Dior, a pair of $2,200 Air Jordan 1 sneakers
Expensive: Only 8,000 pairs went on sale to the public. The prices were $2,000 for the low-top version and $2,200 for the high-top – however they are being resold for up to $30,000 online
The brands had scheduled an April launch, producing just 13,000 pairs of the Air Dior shoes — and offering 5,000 of those to top clients, who received a personal invitation to buy.
One of those lucky clients was Kylie Jenner herself, who showed off the coveted sneakers on Instagram in April.
Singer Ashanti also nabbed a pair, which she modeled on Instagram in May.
But those special customers were the only ones who got the sneakers for months, with Dior and Nike putting the release of the other 8,000 pairs on hold due to the pandemic.
Finally, in late June, Dior directed shoppers to a website where they could register for the opportunity to buy the sneakers.
Pietro Beccari, the CEO of Christian Dior, told WWD that five million people signed up in just nine hours.
Unfortunately, that means 4,992,000 people were out of luck, when all 8,000 pairs were quickly snapped up.