In these days of worldwide Swoosh dominance it’s hard to imagine Nike being a brash newcomer, so it’s easy to forget some of the shoes that got ‘em there in the first place – like the NIKE INTERNATIONALIST – a cult ’80s model which gets a rare trip out of the archives to celebrate its 30th birthday!
The Internationalist debuted in 1982, which is a damn long time ago – so if you don’t recognise these because you were too busy watching Danger Mouse cartoons back then, or because you weren’t actually born, then we’ll grant you a pass. This shoe was a big deal for Nike, a long-distance running model that debuted on the feet of Marathon maestro Alberto Salazar in the ’82 New York Marathon, the same weekend Nike chose to air their FIRST EVER television commercial.
Thankfully, Alberto smashed it and won the marathon outright, and we all know how well the advertising worked out – not bad results for the guys at Beaverton. Sporting credentials assured, the Internationalist then went on to further fame on the feet of Brian in the ’85 cult teen movie ‘The Breakfast Club’ – although by then it had developed a bit of a cult following on its own.
Rather than a mid-life crisis, 2014 looks to give this old-school silhouette a new lease of life. No vintage treatments or mad makeups, (yet!) just a classy execution of the traditional suede, mesh and nylon shape, decked out in colourways that look right. We’ll start with the grey/red pictured here, which majors on the deep grey suede and mesh before popping it’s ass off with an almost infrared swoosh, tongue label and heel tab.
These would be our pick of the bunch, but we’re torn between these and the ‘Breakfast Club’ OG version in blue and yellow, releasing shortly, which is about as strong as we’ve ever seen a retro runner look. The black and olive versions are nice but a good deal subtler, so perfect if you want to tone it down a bit.
Comfy, true to size, great on foot, and at a reasonable price we can’t see any reason why the Internationalist shouldn’t be bigger now than it was in ’82. The NIKE INTERNATIONALIST in the Dark Pewter / Light Crimson colourway is available now and can be found via the link-through below.