Colourway Corral: Nike's Viotech
Who doesn't like a good 'Viotech' drop?
Ever since the Swoosh dropped the over-the-top rainbow-coloured Dunk Low Pro B 'Viotech' in Japan way back in 2001, fans have clamoured for more of the regal purple hue. Now, with those classic Japan-only Dunks rumoured for a return, and the 'Viotech 2.0' Air Max 90 upon us, we thought it would be the perfect time to take a look back at Nike's history of 'Viotech' drops.
Nike Dunk Low Pro B (2001)
The Swoosh’s first-ever ‘Viotech’ drop came in the form of 2001’s Dunk Low Pro B. An unofficial member of sorts of the ‘Ugly Duckling’ pack, these were easily the most colourful of the bunch, and rocked a rainbow of hues across their suede, mesh and leather upper. These also dropped at the height of Nike’s regional release phase – an era when Japan, in particular, was seemingly getting all of the best stuff. Given that these dropped before the days of high speed Internet, they were all the more coveted; the only way to cop a pair was to head straight to the source, or to hit up a reliable connect.
atmos x Nike Air Max 1 (2002)
Japan’s atmos have long been a go-to collaborator for Nike, and 2001’s exclusive ‘Viotech’ Air Max 1 was the retailer’s second-ever collaboration with the Swoosh, following the beloved Air Max 1 ‘Safari’. For their second go-around, atmos opted for a combination of premium materials in a variety of neutral hues to combine with standout details like embroidered gold branding and the return of the mini Swoosh on the lateral side of the mudguard. Last but not least, ‘Viotech’ purple popped on the leather Swooshes.
Nike Air Trainer 3 B (2002)
The ‘Medicine Ball’ look will always be what’s most associated with this successor to the classic Air Trainer 1, but our favourite Air Trainer 3 is undoubtedly 2002’s ‘Viotech’ offering. Here Nike applied a bold purple look to the entirety of the leather upper, and juxtaposed the ‘Viotech’ perforated leather with an every so slightly different violet hit to the smooth leather panels. Couple that with ‘Dandelion’ accents, grey straps, a contrasting white midsole, and deep blue outsole, and you have a winner.
Nike Air Terra Goatek B (2002)
Given the renewed interest in trail silhouettes, and the decidedly in-your-face runners of the 90s and early-2000s, we’re shocked that Nike have yet to resurrect the Air Terra Goatek. A perfect example of the era’s design cues, this particular colourway of the funky design debuted in 2002 and not only came decked out in purple, but featured breathable platinum-coloured mesh to go along with striking pear-like hits to the lining, midsole, outsole, and Swoosh outline. We’re still crossing our fingers that these make a triumphant comeback.
atmos x Nike Air Max 95 (2003)
After taking on the Air Max 1 in 2002, atmos turned their attention to the Air Max 95 the following year. Like 2002’s ‘Viotech’ AM1, these were once again primarily clad in earthy neutrals with just the right amount of purple pop. This time around, the atmos crew applied the namesake hue to the nylon lacing loops, thus perfectly highlighting one of the silhouette’s most distinctive design features – white mesh even allowed the loops to peek through the top panel of the upper.
Nike SB Blazer (2005)
These weren’t officially billed as a ‘Viotech’ release, but they may as well have been – the purple suede Swooshes on these are clearly clad in the classic ‘Viotech’ hue. Released back in 2005, these skate-ready Blazers paired the bold purple branding with a navy suede upper and a combination of white and light grey accents. The result is one of the cleanest ‘Viotech’ drops to ever hit shelves, and one that’s a major departure from the likes of the original Japan-only Dunks.
Nike Dunk Low Premium SP (2013)
More than a decade after its debut, Nike did everyone a solid and resurrected the first-ever ‘Viotech’ drop for a more widely available release in 2013. Naturally, the folks in Beaverton tweaked these a bit to differentiate them from 2001’s Japan-only OG. The bright shade of orange at the midfoot is probably the most noticeable difference (overall shape aside), but Nike also added black lining to the mix to go along with embossed branding on both the new leather tongue badge and suede heel.
Aleali May x Air Jordan 1 (2018)
In 2018, Aleali May followed in Vashtie’s footsteps to become the second-ever female collaborator to put her spin on her own Jordan model. The result was one of the more unique AJ1s out there – a design that not only rocked a furry tongue, but one that streamlined the classic ‘Viotech’ Dunk colour palette for the perfect Dunk-meets-AJ1 mashup.
size? x Nike Shox TL (2019)
As much as we dig the original Dunk, our favourite ‘Viotech’ drops let the bold purple hue stand out and do the talking. That’s why, as with atmos’ Air Max 1 and Air Max 95 collaborations, we loved size?’s 2019 Shox TLs at first sight. Clean neutrals and bright yellow piping allowed the perfectly placed ‘Viotech’ to shine on the lateral Swooshes and matching suede heels. The size? crew even switched things up with a little unexpected detail that harkened back to the OG Dunk’s multicoloured execution: hits of bright blue and red suede, which were applied in mismatched fashion to the medial Swooshes for a little extra flair.
Nike Air Max 90 QS (2019)
We’re stoked for the rumoured return of the ‘Viotech’ Dunk later this year, but we’re equally as excited for a little something to whet our appetites in the meantime: Nike’s brand new ‘Viotech 2.0’ rendition of the Air Max 90. This homage to the original ‘Viotech’ release not only rocks the multicoloured suede upper, but goes with a tweaked colour palette that throws some bold yellow into the mix along with a brighter shade of green.
Header image via: size?