Japan’s indigo heritage served as the inspiration for NikeLab’s latest collaboration with Japanese brand, Loopwheeler.
For the collaboration, the duo set out to reimagined the new NikeLab Air Force 1 Ultraforce and Sock Dart with the goal to make hand-dyed footwear with an authentically deep, rich indigo hue using loop wheel knitting machines.
The decision to use hand-dyed indigo presented unique production challenges for Nike.
The process involved a specific knitting structure to provide the right amount of stretch and flexibility. Each shoe is color-blocked with two layers of fabric—one that is dark indigo-dyed cotton and the other that is indigo-dyed, heathered white cotton. Each shoe is lined with the heathered cotton for softness.
Both shoes have a debossed Loopwheeler logo on the tongue loops and come with a cotton drawstring bag printed with Loopwheeler and Nike logos.
The NikeLab x Loopwheeler Air Force 1 Ultraforce and Sock Dart are available July 16 on nike.com and at NikeLab MA5 in Tokyo and at the Loopwheeler stores in Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka.