What did you think of some of the other products released under the Footscape label at the time? Were you involved with the Stasis FS or the Footscape Trainer?
I wasn’t involved, I had left Nike by then. The original Footscape was designed for the runner without any biomechanical defect, so its upper could be less structural. I had run in that second generation, much more structure but it went back to the old running shoe visual code. I think it is less than classic. Running is so prescriptive so if you are using them for running there is a chance your foot and running style may not match a particular running shoe. So maybe the new one fit more runners.
Did you see the Footscape 2 that Nike released alongside the Rift 2?The Air Moc was another of your designs that became a cult classic. What were you aiming for when designing it?
No. Show me?!
Again I was in the APE group with little supervision. I had heard there was a small group trying to address the extreme sport athlete. Athletes who rock climb, surf, snowboard etc. A group Nike did not have. I had heard the group working on it was doing some sort of jacked-up crosstrainer. These athletes either have very specialised footwear or, like surfers, need no footwear. I am from southern California, about 20 minutes from the beach, and I knew surfers who wore Ugg boots before and after surfing. This was the right sentiment. I thought what this group needed was a before and after shoe. I also thought it should be as simple and as natural as possible.
Our group had also been pursuing a Fit exercise, exploring many ways to accomplish the alignment of shoe and foot. So I was compelled to make the opposite. Something visually sloppy or a bit different on each person’s foot. I was thinking ‘baked potato’. Notice the fork-hole perforations on the sides. That’s why the original name was Air Ida. This name did make the store shelves but was changed when Tatertot maker, Heinz, threatened to sue over the name being too close to their ‘Ore-Ida’ division. If it matters, the internal dynamic boot and low internal midsole kept the CG low so tight, restrictive fit was not critical for casual wear.