Nike Air Huarache Ultra Reviewed & Tested for Performance Review Facts
Minimalism was on the mind of the creator at Nike when they first got started making the Nike air Huarache. The design for the Nike Air Huarache Ultra was first introduced by Nike shoe designer Tinker Hatfield in 1995. He designed the shoe after being inspired by a neoprene like material that he saw a few people snowboarding on; describing the material as, “simple and wonderful”, he went on to apply the material to a pair of shoes, resulting in the original Nike Air Huarache. This initial design went on to be remade and remodelled into the various Huarache models that are seen today. But, none of these models get as simple and versatile as the Nike air Huarache Ultra. The Ultra that we have today, includes the minimalist effects that were applied to the original huarache with the various technologies that Nike has created over the years to enhance comfort and performance.
The outsole on the Ultra is amazing to say the least. Made from a lightweight, durable rubber-like material that greatly enhances the sole’s overall durability. In addition to the majority rubber sole, the shoe is fitted with pods that run the length of the sole. The goal of the pods is to improve the overall dexterity of the sole while not taking away from the lightweight effect of the shoe as whole. In between the pods in the sole, Nike has made sure to add a few crevices, the goal of which is to improve the flexibility of the shoe overall, which aids the wearer during their transition while in use.
The midsole on the Huarache Ultra is straight-forward. Nike has made sure to stay aligned with the original purpose of the shoe, which was to provide simple, minimalist shoes
that could handle a variety of different uses. In their effort to do this, Nike has simple made the midsole of the Huarache Ultra out of a responsive foam that blends in with the material on the outsole; so, in effect they have a sole that appears to be one continuous block of material. Nike has also made the midsole on this shoe rather wide, especially in the heel, compared to various other shoes, which aids in the shoes ability to provide ample support to the wearer and overall comfort. Let’s not forget the air pod that is fitted on the inside of the heel to give the shoe an overall bounciness while in use, overall great addition to the shoe.
The upper is where the Nike Air Huarache Ultra got a bit interesting. In this part of the shoe, Nike has made sure to stay true to the initial design by keeping the neoprene design, the mesh, and the bootie; But, they have also added a bit of their new technology to the shoe such as the Nike flywire lacing, which opens the wearers of this shoe up to a variety of different types of foot widths
. As stated earlier the material that makes up the upper of the Nike Huarache Air Ultra is almost identical to the original design of the shoe; such as the Neoprene majority makeup of the entire upper to the mesh material that makes up the toe box of the shoe. This shoe was also fitted with the original Bootie on the heel of the shoe, which coincidentally is also made of neoprene material.
This Huarache feels almost weightless
on-foot. The neoprene upper, which is coincidentally breathable aids the shoe in this effect. The lack of material on the shoe and the ultimate redesign that it was given, aids in Nike’s efforts to make a shoe that is lightweight overall.
The Ultra feels almost weightless on foot. This is due to the lightweight and breathable look of the shoe overall. Nike, when they made the Ultra were going for a minimalist feel to the shoe; which they augmented with lightweight breathable
material such as the neoprene. They added perforations to the upper of the shoe by adding mash and placing layered fabrics on the top of the shoe. The shoe’s overall above average breath-ability is why it’s one of the most sought-after shoes when summer starts to roll around.
Yet another area that the Huarache Ultra scores five stars in is comfort. This shoe was made with, not only quality material but also, material that was made to fit snugly to the foot; This means that the shoe was designed with the wearers feet in mind; From the elastic band that runs the length of the back of the shoe, to the added padding on the insole of the shoe, everything is there to improve the comfort-ability. The Nike Flywire technology that also runs the length of the inside of the shoe aid in the shoes ability to feel as if it isn’t there when being worn on foot. The sole of the Huarache Ultra provides definite comfort
for the wearer; This is due to the pods that have been sculpted out in the rubber outsole of the shoe. In addition to the Air pods on the outsole the midsole is equipped with an added Air pod in the heel section of the shoe; This is also there to give the wearer added comfort.
The Huarache Air Ultra is nothing if not stylish. Although the Ultra, like many other shoes, was made for running/ basketball, it can be worn for a variety of occasions
. The shoe itself is very aesthetically pleasing; the simplicity of the design and the lush factors of the materials that it’s made from give it the air of a quality shoe that will blend in with a variety of outfit types. The fly wire lacing that the shoe is equipped with gives it another sense of flair due to its simplicity. The overall shoe itself has a style that has been there since it was first designed in 1995.
Despite it’s apparent simplicity, Nike has made sure to use quality materials throughout the Huarache Ultra’s design. The rubber outsole made this pretty obvious because despite prolonged use, it would still hold up, with the only way to notice wear being the dirt that would get onto the lighter versions. Also, the material that made up the upper of the shoe were also made from materials that were made to last, such as the neoprene. Although the neoprene was cut into such thin layers, it holds up just as well as the rubber outsole on the Ultra. With prolonged use on the shoe, the midsole would show some creasing, but compared to other shoes of its type it holds up relatively well.
Protection on the Huarache ultra comes in the form of the thick sole, guards on the toe box, and guards on the heel. The thick rubber sole provides ample protection from the various parts of dangerous terrains such as glass, sticks etc. This is key when using them in environments that have elements such as these because, due to their purpose as a running shoe it would be almost impossible to notice these environmental features during use. The guards on both the toe box and the heel give the shoe an added sense of protection
, mainly because they add some sturdiness to this otherwise flimsy shoe. The heel guard protects the heel while in use while the toe box does likewise. Overall, decent protective devices are in place on this shoe.
The shoe has a decent amount of responsiveness. The midsole is fitted with an air that, while in use send energy back to the wearer. This aids the wearer by providing an overall bounce that somewhat aids in propelling the wearer forward
during a run of any kind, improving the overall follow-through or ride. The midsole itself is made from foam that while in use, gives the shoe added rebound while in use; This isn’t a feature of the foam per se, it’s more of a bonus given just by the make of the foam itself.
The weird thing about this shoe is that, while it’s a running shoe it provides a lot in terms of support; The fit of the shoe that is given by the neoprene make and the snug Flywire lacing, adds the support of the shoe. The plastic covering on the ankle of this shoe gives it the added support that allows the user to bend his/her foot in various ways; otherwise improving the range of motion. This in turn opens the shoe up to a variety of other sports, the most popular being basketball
. The elevated sole on the Ultra also allows the shoe to provide in the way of ankle support, also aiding the wearer while running.
The durable sole on the Huarache Ultra isn’t very malleable, meaning that the shoe can withstand a variety of terrains without wearing down. This is due to the durable plastic that the shoe’s sole is made from. Due to the thickness of the sole itself, the shoe protects the wearers foot from the variety of hazards that are in the ground, such as the ones mentioned above. The Ultra’s ability to withstand a multitude of terrains is enhance by the pods that are located on the sole of the shoe; the pods sole purpose is to improve the overall durability while also allowing the Ultra to withstand the rough surfaces that they are used on.
For the features provided, the Huarache Ultra is a relatively inexpensive shoe. Features such as the pods, the added material to provide support, and the overall comfort of the shoe, mean that the price tag is well-deserved. The shoe itself, is made from quality materials that withstand the tests of time and of various climates; meaning that the shoe itself will last for several years, yet another feature that justifies the price tag that the shoe is given.
The traction that the shoe provides is outstanding, to say the least. When worn, the shoe itself provides a grip that somewhat grabs the ground and refuses tole go until you say that it’s okay to. This is primarily due to both the make of the sole and the design of the air pods on the outsole. Rubber itself is known for it’s traction producing qualities which, when coupled with the grid-like formation of the air pods on the outsole, gives the shoe amazing grip abilities. The shoes grip and traction producing abilities also allow the shoe to be used on a plethora of surfaces from a running trail, to a gym floor; making the Huarache Ultra an extremely versatile shoe in terms of usage abilities.
The make of both the sole and the Upper on the Huarache Ultra make a shoe that is sturdy yet flexible enough to conform the movement of the foot itself; A necessary feature of really any running shoe because of the great lengths of time that they are in use. Normally, the rubber make of the sole would hinder the shoes overall flexibility, but the grooves that run in between the air pods fitted along the outsole give the shoe the ability to bend to the will of the foot. The lack of solid materials on the upper also give the shoe yet another quality that a variety of other shoes lack, it’s packable! While it can’t be folded the way a piece of cloth would, the top of the shoe does fold downward allowing for more room in a bag of any kind.
Despite the make of the upper, the shoe also provides in the way of stability. The bands that run the length of the heel of the shoe and the fly wire lacing on the shoe, give the wearer of the Ultra that sense of added stability while in use; Basically, taking away from the flimsiness neoprene material making up the shoe. Although, the material making up the upper of the shoe is somewhat flimsy the degree which it hugs the foot still gives it the feel of providing support. Aiding the Ultra in the stability category is the shoes wide heel that gives the wearer more material to land on during rapid movement; a necessary feature for runners and basketball players alike.
The Ultra is a neutral shoe that provides in the way of heel support. It has a relatively high heel-to-toe drop that aids in the transitions of the wearer while in use; Meaning that the movement of the heel to the toe while running is fluid and isn’t obstructed in any way by another feature of the shoe.
• Comfortably neoprene upper
• Air pod in the midsole of the shoe provides bounce
• Rubber pods on the outsole gives the shoe added grip
• Stabilizers on the heel and ankle provide added support
• Extremely breathable
Whether it’s for the field
, the course, or simply to make a fashion statement the Huarache is for you. Providing extreme comfort and traction while in use, the Huarache Ultra makes sure to give the wearer that added boost that is necessary while performing. Overall, the Huarache is a solid shoe that doesn’t place too heavy of a hand on the wallet either.