After our April Fools ‘Drake’ Jordan 6 colab went viral last year, not to mention being ‘officially’ released as a fake, we double-dipped this year to see if we could fool y’all again. This cross between Ricardo Tisci’s Air Force series and a Breg moon boot lit up the internet, proving once again that there’s at least one born every minute and maybe more. As far fetched as this unholy trinity is, you gotta admit, it does have a perverse charm. Seems there’s a lot of farrshion bois out there with busted legs who agreed with us!
The ‘Air Cast 1’ came together a couple of days out from the worldwide sike celebration, when we devised a bunch of potential pranks. One was to take photos of a Sneaker Freaker Forum moderator’s bare feet, which are tattooed with a massive black Swoosh, calling them out as the new ‘Nike Free 0.0’. Another was to render a pair of Supreme x Skechers Shape-Ups, just to test how infallible the divine box logo was to its legion of hypebeast followers. The one concept that tugged at our shoestrings the most though, was a hulking medical moon boot recast as a high fashion collaboration between Riccardo Tisci and Nike.
At that time, the real-life partnership between the Givenchy mastermind and the Swoosh was already two collections deep. Tisci had applied bright and bold shapes that recalled some sort of ‘mythical African tribal print’ to a gang of Air Force 1s in both white and beige base colours, and they’d sold out quick smart. While standard AF-1 lows, mids and highs formed most of the collection, the most iconoclastic release was the knee-high boot known as the AF-1 Hi Boot SP. Sporting a bizarre leather corset that spiralled up the shin, it borrowed cues from high fashion womenswear ahead of any athletic inspiration, inciting instant indignation from sneakerheads, presumably as exactly intended.
Around this time I joked with a friend who had snapped his ankle in an unruly game of Hacky Sack that he should swap his monstrous ankle walker for Riccardo Tisci’s AF-1 boot, as the latter appeared to offer adequate support and heavy duty swag. However, the boot only came in girls’ sizes, and his doctor was really keen on him sticking with his Breg Air Walker for a few more weeks. Our graphics department got to work, patching together the familiar tribal designs with a royal blue midsole, bringing something new to Riccardo’s vision. It was the kind of minor aesthetic progress that obviously helped convince a few more people that this Frankenstein creation was legit.
Really, though, just like last year, we didn’t think many folks would fall for the gag. It was preposterous. We know a lot of people are out there suffer in shame limping about in their moon boots, but Nike has long been focused on exceptionally mobile, elite athletes. Do you recall Kobe or KD wearing any kind of Swooshed-out recovery equipment this year? Didn’t think so. No one would believe this, surely. We had planned to delete Facebook comments calling out the gag for the first few minutes, but we didn’t even have to because there weren’t any! It took a while for the reality to click with a select few, and until then, the praise piled up.
‘These would have been awesome when I had to spend a year in a Western Walker consecutively,’ said Jake Zeliff. ‘6 months left then 6 months right. I would have killed for those.’ Roy Dykens also wanted some Air Cast goodness. ‘Damn I might have to *accidentally* break both my legs today cause these are FRESH AS FUCK my man.’
As with every truly pioneering product, the acclaim was balanced with vitriol. Brian Alonso managed to kill two designs with one salty stone, writing, ‘These make the Yeezys look real nice.’ Carlos Arevalo had also downed a gallon of Haterade, using the power of an Emoji gun and face to depict his impending death and wrote, ‘Man, I swear some shoes that are coming out!’
There were a few blogs that fell for it too, telling their readers that yes indeed, the Air Cast 1 would be coming out in a year’s time at all good pharmacies, just like we wrote. Other websites with at least a tiny research budget recognised the gag straight away, and the Air Cast 1 made the Fader, Forbes and Quartz list of ‘Best April Fools’ Day jokes’. Nuff respect.
So, once again, we offer you our sincerest apologies for abusing your faith in us to bring you the bestest and ‘realest’ sneaker releases. We promise it won’t happen again... til next year!