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Are These the Next Big Nike Shoe?

Nike Air Zoom Chalapuka
Image courtesy Need Supply Co.

* A version of this shoe was first introduced in 2001
* The updated Chalapuka is actually a hybrid of two retro Nike running shoes
* Like fashion, sneaker design seems to also be cyclical

Sneaker designs have taken a futuristic turn over the last several seasons, which is probably why Nike and Adidas have been digging into their archives and retro-ing some of their vintage best-sellers. Sneakers that didn’t quite work 20 years ago seem to fit right in today. Case in point: the Nike Air Zoom Chalapuka.

The Air Zoom Chalapuka isn’t a true retro by sneakerhead standards. What it is is an updated remix of a bygone performance running shoe from 2001 that was originally called the Chapuka:

Chapuka ⭕⭕⭕

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The more modern version was reintroduced last July during Rochambeau’s SS17 presentation at NYFW: Men’s. Now that it’s back for another season, we suspect that the Chalapuka may stick around for a while this time.

Today’s Chalapuka is actually a mashup between the original Chapuka and a late 90s runner called the Talaria, which was also recently retro’d by Nike. The Chalapuka retains the die-cut ventilated upper of the original Chapuka, but adds premium leather and mesh for a luxe twist. Instead of the original sole, it now sits atop the Talaria’s more comfortable full-length Zoom Air sole.

It’s a great shoe to pick up for what’s left of summer through early fall; you just need to throw on a pair of matching navy socks.

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