Why, back in my day, we had Viotech sneakers from Nike. Any sneakerhead of a certain vintage's (and by that I mean well into their 30s) ears will prick up at the mere mention of that colourway, because it evokes images of insanely hard-to-find sneakers from the early-2000s.
Sneakers like the multi-coloured Dunk Lows from 2001 that were released in the heyday of Nike’s ‘co.jp’ Japanese market exclusives, and whose more padded interior pre-dates the Swoosh’s SB lineup by a year. If you missed out on that one, and the 2013 re-release, never fear, because it was re-re-released late last year, with prices hovering around the USD250 mark on StockX.
Or what about the absolutely legendary Air Max 1 Viotech that was a collab with Atmos, with its muted browns offset by a popping purple Swoosh with an accompanying gold mini-Swoosh on the toebox?
Fellow old(er) hypebeasts will no doubt know that sneaker was but one half of the duo that also comprises the Air Max 1 Safari, a model that was retro-ed a few years ago with a pair of several bizarre decisions, including a extra-fuzzy suede toe and icy soles. Fellow older ‘heads will also no doubt know that Atmos was an absolute titan of the game back then, but I digress.
And saving the best for last, and a sneaker that’s rumoured to be coming back early next month, is the purplest purple shoe that ever was. The sort of purple that would make Grimace and Prince proud.
While most Viotech sneakers are content with judicious use of purple, the Air Trainer 3 Viotech suffers from no such restraint. The entire thing is purple, save for lemon-yellow accents and yes, you can also have matching purple laces on it. Or, if you’re feeling particularly imprudent, give it an insane amount of pop with yellow laces that go oh-so-well with the grey on the silhouette’s signature forefoot strap and heel counter.
But why am I waxing lyrical and expending purple prose on a mere colourway (apart from the fact complaining about how things were better back then is so much fun)?
Because it’s such a singular, iconic colour, that’s why. And because its name (probably a portmanteau of 'violet and 'technology' is just that sick. I mean, just say it with me: Viotech. It rolls in such an unctuous way off your tongue.
Also, purple was the colour of royalty. Of course, that was before the age of synthetic dyes and making it was a fabulously complex and expensive endeavour, which therefore made it hugely valuable. And even if one could afford it, its use was regulated.
Even today, it’s not often you see it employed on shoes—or indeed, many things—and when it does show up, it’s an occasion.
I don’t know about you, but I’ll be celebrating the return of the Viotech king by copping myself a pair.