Pipeline is an extremely prestigious surfing spot found in Oahu, Hawaii. It’s known for its huge waves and its surfing culture, which dates back to 1961. And its Pipeline’s fascinating history and beautiful scenery which served as inspiration for our latest concept. Surfing and sneakers are two words that are rarely used in the same sentence. But so much of sneaker design comes from looking at nature, and the waves of Pipeline have to be one of the most beautiful examples of nature’s power. So, we created a concept that tried to portray the charming nature of Pipeline on the Air Max 95.
Our shoe comes in a mostly leather upper, featuring lighter shades of blue near the sole, and darker blues as you work your way to the top of the sneaker. The top panel next to the eyelets is also mesh instead of leather, to add some ventilation to the sneaker. The Nike Swoosh on the heel is white with a black outline, and the Nike tag on the tongue is a light blue. The sole consists of a white midsole, a visible full length Air unit, and a blue outsole.
We thought that the stripes on the side of the Air Max 95 were perfect for portraying the huge waves at Pipeline, and the water’s clear blue color inspired our choice to use a light and bright blue as the dominant sneaker on the upper. Our use of white on the midsole not only adds a bit of contrast but also represents the white crest of a wave as it crashes down onto the water. This imagery of the sea is juxtaposed with the Air unit in the sole, which may not add to the pipeline theme, but it does look pretty cool!
Especially when you consider how ingrained skateboarding is in sneaker culture, the lack of a presence of surfing is surprising. Sure, you don’t wear sneakers when you surf, but its cultural impact in movies and the clothes we wear is gigantic. Of course, there have been a few surf sneakers from skate brands like Vans and Cariuma, who collaborated with Mr. Pipeline himself. However, we wanted to make a shoe that you wouldn’t wear down to the beach but would instead bring a bit of the beach to you. Its colors and stripes remind you of Pipeline’s infamous waves, but also still look great without the context.