Skepta's Nike Tailwind V is a beautiful butterfly — no, really

Dropping with a tracksuit and bucket hat for a full roadman fit.

Skepta Nike Tailwind V

After Skepta gave us a teaser earlier this month, Nike has officially revealed the rapper’s Tailwind V.

The fifth sneaker in the “Sk Air” series is one of the best yet, and it mixes two iterations of the shoe first released in 2000. The dynamic heel counter is plucked from the original Tailwind V, while Skepta chose the butterfly-like caged upper from 2007’s Tailwind V Plus. To coincide with the latter, the upper has been given a sublimated butterfly wing print in blue.

“We are all going through metamorphosis, a new stage of life,” Skepta said in a press release. “We chose this butterfly print out of about 50 different options because it had to evoke the correct emotion.”


References to sneakers and albums past — The chrome accents on the Tailwind V are a nod to the Nike Shox TL Skepta released in 2019, and the thermographic heel counter invokes his most recent album, Ignorance Is Bliss. Instead of his name, a special “Sk Air” badge appears on the tongue along with “Tailwind” embroidery.

The Tailwind V is Skepta’s best Nike collab since his very first, the Air Max 97 Ultra 17. Their subsequent releases felt underwhelming compared to the iridescent, polyutherane-coated upper of the AM97, and the latest release is a welcomed return to dynamic colors with its striking blue print that looks a lot like tie-dye.

Like all of Skepta’s sneakers, the Tailwind V fits perfectly into the roadman aesthetic he’s known for. To complete the look, Nike will release a matching tracksuit and bucket hat with blue paneling featuring the same blue butterfly print. The small capsule is so U.K., in fact, that it may not even be getting a Stateside release.


Confirmed for everywhere but the U.S. — Baring a surprise, Skepta’s Tailwind V is only scheduled to release this Friday, April 2, in Europe, Asia Pacific, and Greater China. That gives us a few days to hold out hope for the sneaker to pop up in the U.S., otherwise you’ll have to turn to the dreaded resale market to pick up one of Skepta’s best sneakers yet.