Spy Finds is a daily series that unveils the coolest, under-the-radar products that you haven’t heard of until now. Each product is curated by our editors who want to help you discover cool finds you didn’t know you needed.
Buying a new pair of Nikes usually doesn’t require much in the way of extra incentive. Since the ’80s the Pegasus line has been among the very best running shoes, and the Air Jordan has been the name in basketball shoes.
But now these longtime standard-bearers are joined with a great cause: Nike’s N7 program, which supports Native American and indigenous communities in the United States and Canada. And these special-edition treads have a great and meaningful look thanks to Pendleton, the textile company famous for its woolen blankets, flannels and vintage clothing.
Both the Air Zoom Pegasus 36 N7 x Pendleton and Air Jordan 8 Retro N7 x Pendleton feature signature fabric in a pattern inspired by Navajo rug weavers. The pattern was created by lead designer Tracie Jackson in honor of her great-grandmother, who was a member of the Black Streaked Wood People clan of the Navajo Nation and an accomplished traditional weaver.
The entire upper on the Pegasus men’s running shoes is resplendent in the warm colors and rich detail of the special pattern. But the Zoom Air cushioning still runs the length of the bottom of the shoe, giving you the performance and comfort you expect from the Pegasus line.
The Air Jordans are even more striking. The Pendleton fabric is clearly visible midfoot, standing out against the grey suede straps, which hold the design together. The tongue’s familiar Air Jordan badge matches the print, in case anyone’s still doubting whether these uniquely beautiful sneakers are in fact Jordans. However, the Nike Pendleton collaboration isn’t limited to the Zoom Air and Air Jordans. Long-time Pendleton fans may also be tempted by the desert suede Nike Air Force 1 ’07 N7 x Pendleton. There are also sweats and more basketball shoes in the collection.
Why is Nike supporting the country’s Native American communities with running and basketball shoes featuring a Navajo-inspired pattern? Schools in the Navajo Nation have long been renowned for their amazing cross-country and track programs, and “Rez Ball” high school and youth basketball teams are famous across the Southwest.
These outstanding twists on longtime favorites will appeal to athletes, treadheads, and stylish guys alike. Nike’s N7 program is celebrating its 10th anniversary with style, along with the usual superior Nike quality. Now you can look great, upgrade your sneaker game, and help Nike support Native American and indigenous communities throughout North America with just a click.
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 N7 x Pendleton
Air Jordan 8 Retro N7 x Pendleton