Are These the Next Big Nike Shoe?

Nike Air Zoom Chalapuka
Image courtesy Need Supply Co.
When you buy something through our retail links, we may earn commission and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes.

* 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.

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:

View this post on Instagram

Chapuka ⭕⭕⭕

A post shared by Anders (@diggitalos) on

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.

Jersey Jealousy: Nike’s New NBA Connected Jerseys