You might love them or hate them, but sure as hell won’t be able to ignore them.
Designed for a subset of people who feel like regular sneakers aren’t enough for their feet, Nike unveiled the Women’s Air Force 1 sneakers with custom retroreflective Swarovski crystals studded across the surface of the shoes. The functionality is twofold – aside from being a pair of sneakers so bizarrely unique that people will definitely ask you where you got them, the reflective crystals on the shoes actually make them easy to spot in low-light conditions. The retroreflective nature of the crystals allows them to reflect beams of light back to their source, making them visible to people driving vehicles while you’re jogging at dawn.
The leather sneaker comes layered with a 4-part shroud that houses as many as 228 individual retroreflective crystals. Contrary to popular belief, the bling isn’t just there to make a luxury fashion statement. Nike claims the choice of studding the sneakers with over 200 crystals was created out of inspiration taken from road reflectors. To that very end, the shoes are, quite literally, eye-catching. They come in all-white or all-black (the black ones are showcased here), and the studded crystals come to life the minute a light source shines on them.
The shoes are up for sale on the Nike website, although for a hefty sum of $450 a pair. I honestly doubted whether there would even be enough demand for these odd-looking sneakers (coupled with that price point), but as of writing this piece, most of their sizes are sold out as Nike is desperately trying to restock units on their website. If you do like the shoes but are somehow aversed to the idea of constantly having to walk around with crystals around your feet, the shoes ship with a special screwdriver that lets you take the shrouds off too, turning them into a classic pair of Air Force 1s.