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NikeLab Takes a Stab at Indigo-Dyed Sneakers

Japan’s indigo heritage served as the inspiration for NikeLab’s latest collaboration with Japanese brand, Loopwheeler.

For the collaboration, the duo set out to reimagined the new NikeLab Air Force 1 Ultraforce and Sock Dart with the goal to make hand-dyed footwear with an authentically deep, rich indigo hue using loop wheel knitting machines.

The decision to use hand-dyed indigo presented unique production challenges for Nike.

The process involved a specific knitting structure to provide the right amount of stretch and flexibility. Each shoe is color-blocked with two layers of fabric—one that is dark indigo-dyed cotton and the other that is indigo-dyed, heathered white cotton. Each shoe is lined with the heathered cotton for softness.

Both shoes have a debossed Loopwheeler logo on the tongue loops and come with a cotton drawstring bag printed with Loopwheeler and Nike logos.

The NikeLab x Loopwheeler Air Force 1 Ultraforce and Sock Dart are available July 16 on and at NikeLab MA5 in Tokyo and at the Loopwheeler stores in Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka.