Nike’s archives are loaded with more sneakers than it could ever possibly re-issue, but every once and a while an under-sung classic makes its way back into the light. This year, Nike’s dusting off the Eagle, a 1980’s running sneaker that was once the lightest of its time, with a little help from Comme des Garçons’ “Black” line.
Back to black — The Eagle looks similar in construction to the Nike Cortez with its low-profile look. Black covers CdG’s take on the shoe almost in its entirety, from the nylon upper to the Swoosh and overlays. To break up the darkness, Nike adds its bright white retro logo to the tongue, while co-branding takes its place on the insole. The heel then gives way to a “CDG” logo to round out the marks, as the shoe sits on a thin foam sole.
Designed as a road racing shoe, the Nike Eagle was one of Nike’s lightest ever, weighing in at a mere 5.1 ounces. Innovation allowed to shave off from the 6.5- to 13-oz running shoes typical for the time, however, as technology became more advanced, the Eagle disappeared to make room for newer models.
An oldie but a goodie — Technical features aside, the sneaker’s outward appearance makes its age obvious. Granted, it’s one of Nike’s earliest designs, but the revamped Eagle is is still simpler than you might expect given CdG’s involvement. The Japanese label has previously infused other Nike silhouettes with its experimental style, including the heeled Premier soccer boot and a hearty SB Dunk. To pull a 40-year-old sneaker back out for the first time and not give it some extra flair is an interesting choice — but there’s also merit in understated elegance.
The CDG x Nike Eagle is slated for release March 18 through Dover Street Market and CDG Japan. It may take some extra work to get your hands on the $243 pair, which is relatively cheap compared to some other sneakers from Comme, but owning a piece of Nike history may just make the effort worthwhile.