Nike uses the Chinese jewelry staple jade for inspiration.
Adidas Originals aren’t the only ones getting involved in the upcoming Chinese New Year celebration that starts on February 8. However unlike Adidas, the Swoosh brand isn’t incorporating this year’s Zodiac symbol (at least not on this pair of sneakers). Instead, they’re embracing China as a whole by calling these the Air Force 1 & Upstep Nai Ke, for the phonetic spelling of how the brand’s name is pronounced in Chinese.
The shoe features a predominantly white tumbled leather upper, with jade green accents on the tongue tab, lace lock and heel. The leather texture does a good job of imitating the marbled look jade stones often have, and the ’Nai Ke’ characters are debased on the back heel. Additional gold trim along the heel and on the top lace eyelet finish out the look.
Both men’s and women’s versions are available, differentiated by the translucent outsole and shoe type. The men’s shoe is an Air Force 1 with a translucent jade outsole while the women’s version is an Upstep (very similar to the AF1) with a translucent white outsole.
The shoes will be dropping in Asia first some time next month, with an anticipated global release soon after.