The Nike Air Huarache ‘Deep Magenta’ AKA ‘Aquatone’: 1992 OG vs 2021 Retro
The 30th anniversary of the Nike Air Huarache continues a strong run of the Swoosh restoring their 1990s classics, with more attention to detail than ever before. After the ‘Scream Green’ reissue impressed Hua heads new and old, all eyes were on which colourways would emerge next. It only took 29 years, but the ‘Deep Magenta’ (aka ‘Aquatone’) has now returned for the first time since 1992. And it’s a very solid retro.
The Nike Air Huarache ‘Deep Magenta’ retro is available now from Up There, who kindly sourced an OG pair to shoot against the 2021 version for this comparison. Thanks crew!
Hasty Huarache History
The ‘Deep Magenta’ colourway was introduced in 1992, appearing in Nike’s Fall catalogue of that year. As mentioned, this is the first time the Tinker Hatfield OG has been retroed. While originally launched as a women’s colourway, this retro has been recreated in unisex sizing, starting at men’s 5/women’s 6.5 and running all the way up to men’s 14/women’s 15.5.
For the statisticians, here are the SKU codes of each release to help with eBay searches. The OG’s SKU code is simply four digits: 2083. In 2021, hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of products later, the retro’s SKU is DD1068-103.
What’s in a colourway? It’s where sneakers often get their nicknames. The 1992’s box reads ‘WHITE-AQUATN-DPMGNT’, and that is why this Huarache is known as the ‘Aquatone’, at least to OG heads. Interestingly, the 2021 colourway is ‘White/Aquatone-Deep Magenta-Black’, which simply adds ‘Black’ to the original combo, but Nike and the wider market have opted to nickname this release the ‘Deep Magenta’. For some, this might cause some confusion, as another OG colourway is called the ‘Magenta’ despite looking completely different to this version.
The 30th anniversary Air Huaraches have been packaged in a two-toned grey stripe box with an orange lid bearing the Nike Air branding. This is accurate to the 1991 releases, bar the extra box width, but the Huarache got its own style of box the following year once the circular logo was established. It’s a minor detail for the pedants – remember, you can’t wear shoeboxes. But it would have been cool for this retro to revive the OG skinny black box.
As mentioned in the ‘Scream Green’ deep dive, 1992 was the year the Huarache line found its wider identity, with a circular H logo stitched onto the tongues of all models using the technology. Naturally, it’s been reprised on this ‘Aquatone’ retro, except the raised markings are now noticeably thicker. But who’s measuring that?
Staying on the tongue, the forefoot of the Huarache bootie has always been perforated for ventilation. The 2021 retro has one less perforation on the outermost column compared to the 1992 OG, which is perhaps due to the fact the newer pair is a size 6 compared to the OG’s 7. The ankle perforations also appear to be slightly different. This is the nittiest of the grittiest.
On the flipside, given these similar sizes, the retro has five rows of eyelets, one more than the OG. This allows the Huarache logo to breathe a bit on the new pair, by lacing to the second-last eyelet to the top.
Sole Far, Sole Good
One of the biggest updates to 2021’s Huarache retros is the revised midsole and outsole tooling, which now has the correct forefoot cutouts for flexibility. Similarly, these cutouts run into the sides of the foam midsole, resulting in a much more sculpted look that’s accurate to the OG. And the retro is still as comfortable as ever.
Well done to Nike for another pleasing retro. Let’s hope they bring back more OG Huarache colourways this year – fingers crossed for some ‘Resin’!
Thanks again to the Up There team for the snaps. Pick up a pair of the Nike Air Huarache ‘Deep Magenta’ from them here!