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Vintage 1985 Nike Vandal
Stuck in between the Nike Air Force I and the Nike Dunk, the Nike Vandal hit the production line as early as late 1983. Though the BTTYS ( Be True To Your School ) wasn’t quite set yet and would be exclusively reserved to the Nike Dunk line to come, the Vandal line applied the universities color schemes, just like the Nylon Cortez line did back in the mid 70’s.
The Nike Vandal, though a sports shoe, was far from being considered as a basketball shoe. The AF1 hit the shelves and the courts a couple of years before with its famous Air sole. Nike considered and sold the Vandal as a ‘recreational’ shoe. You could find them in sporting goods retailers of course, but most of the time in your classic WalMart ( just like Kyle Reese’s pick in Terminator in 1984 ).
It was an eye-catching hi-top shoe for sure.
The success of the Vandal was due to its amazing range of colors and retail price. Though it didn’t have an Air sole, the shoe was greatly built and the overall quality was excellent. It became an instant best-seller amongst kids and teenagers. And the ankle strap just added an extra fun touch.
The Nike Vandal came in Canvas in Hi and Low versions. Michigan, Oregon, USC, UCLA, USA and monochromatic ( blue on blue, red on red, white on white, orange on orange ) colors were the most thought afters. The ‘terminator’ ( silver on black ) remaining the must-have.
Nike also added an extra line named Vandal Supreme, consisting on having a very exotic parachute material uppers. Many samples were produced, including a blue on gold version, but only 4 colors made it to general release : silver on blue, red on silver, gold on black and silver on red.
Funnily enough, the Air Force 1 adopted the codes of the Vandals for their canvas lines.
The Nike Vandal has been re-released many times since and was among the first models studios and shops would ask Nike to do collaborations on.
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