New Nike Air Force 1 Mid release is an homage to Japanese drinking taverns.

If you’re ever looking for a place in Japan with a lively vibe where you can eat and drink the night away with friends, an izakaya is the place to go.

In Japanese, the word izakaya is made up of three kanji — 居酒屋 — which translate to “home drink place“, and that’s exactly what these establishments are — homely places where drinks are served, along with light meals and snacks to keep you going. For many, izakaya are the heart and soul of the Japanese dining scene — a place where you can rub shoulders with the locals and let go of your troubles in a casual environment that feels like a home away from home. 

It’s a feeling that many people would love to capture in a bottle and take home with them, and that’s something that Nike is now doing, except instead of using a bottle to capture the spirit of an izakaya, they’re using a pair of shoes.

The Air Force 1 Mid’07 LX ‘IZAKAYA’ is a special release to help celebrate the 40th anniversary of Nike’s Air Force 1 Mid model this year.

The new kicks capture everything we love about a Japanese izakaya, starting with the brown hues, which bring to mind the wooden interiors of the relaxing drinking holes, while also conjuring up images of the charcoal-grilled yakitori skewers that are so often served there.

▼ It’s a good hue to match the colour of beer, oolong tea, and highballs mixed with oolong tea that are also synonymous with izakaya.

Nike toes the line with copyright issues by incorporating a star — the logo for Sapporo Beer — on the shoe, while also depicting a beer bottle that looks like a blend between top beer brands Sapporo and Kirin.

▼ Two other notable features are a receipt-like tongue and an image of a Shigaraki-ware raccoon dog, which sit outside izakaya to bring prosperity in business.

▼ Not one but two tanuki for extra luck, and one of them is even holding a pair of shoes.

The receipts on the tongues cleverly detail the history of the Air Force 1 Mid model and its different releases over the years.

To help commemorate this release, Trunk (Hotel) in Shibuya, Tokyo, will open a special “Ichibanboshi” izakaya operated by Atmos, who’ll be selling the sneakers, from 25-28 August. Online reservations are required to attend the izakaya, which will serving up yakitori skewers and alcoholic drinks in a stylish environment to help promote the new release.

As for the kicks themselves, they’ll be available to purchase via an online lottery held from 19-25 August, with lucky winners able to purchase the shoes at Atmos stores and online for 15,400 yen (US$113.05) from 25 August.

Source: Atmos via PR Times
Images: PR Times
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