By now, it is crystal clear that the pandemic has reconfigured the way we get dressed. Some of these changes make perfect sense (more cozy sweatpants) while others skew a bit more perplexing (water shoes?). Either way, leave it to Nike to capture the moment in one of the brand’s latest and most unexpected silhouettes. Enter the Offline, a part-sandal, part-mule that feels very of the moment.
The comfort wave is cresting in more esoteric corners of menswear for several seasons now, and the Nike Offline, billed as the “anti-sneaker,” seems to fit right into that genre. The Swoosh states that comfort is at the heart of the Offline’s design, which feels like the truth. There is the plush drop-in sole, strategically placed padding, and cushioned straps. It feels akin to the tech-heavy sandals made by Japanese brand Suicoke, which continues to gain popularity stateside thanks to collaborations with labels like John Elliot and Aimé Leon Dore. It also shares some DNA with designer sandals like the Visvim Christo, the cult-loved $600 kicks worn by John Mayer and other style-forward men with a penchant for expensive footwear. For those not looking to drop over half a rack on sandals, the Nike Offline checks a lot of the same boxes and will only run you $120—if you can get your hands on a pair, that is.
In just one month, the Offline has already managed to develop a feverish following. It’s sold out across the board, and the only place that you can now snag a pair is through resale websites. The good news here? The Swoosh appears to have a slew of new colorways on deck to drop in the forthcoming months. In a year where nothing else makes sense, it makes perfect sense that the biggest sneaker brand’s latest hit isn’t even a sneaker. The kicker? An anti-sneaker has never looked this good.