Nike: Risk Your Sole
This week, Art & Sole attended the Risk Your Sole tournament event held at Nike’s Phenomenal House in London. The contest saw London's leading sneaker retailers and 'legends of the industry' go head-to-head in a battle of both sneakers and football...
With the World Cup in Brazil looming, Risk Your Sole was actually part of a broader campaign entitled Risk Everything, in which Nike celebrates their passion for football with a series of events held at Phenomenal House - a bespoke space created within The Sorting Office venue. Other events have included Brotherhood of the Feet, which combined football and skateboarding, and the Rinse FM Takeover, with an all-day live broadcast from the space.
The Risk Your Sole project, which aimed to combined football with sneaker culture, kicked off with a digital tournament in which the eight teams involved pitted their favourite sneakers against each other. Each team had five members, and each member picked one shoe to represent them in the sneaker battle - the public could then vote for their favourite shoe via the Nike website through a series of elimination rounds.
The teams included the size? Dynamos, Footpatrol Pythons, Sneakersnstuff Fotbollsförening, 1948 St Leonard's, Icon 87 Est. & Laced, Offspring Est. 1996, Slammin Kicks Legends, and the Niketown Rangers (see the team crests shown below). From Art & Sole's perspective, some of the standout shoes selected to do battle included the HTM Woven, the Stussy Court Force Low, the Clot Air Max 1 and, of course, the two Air Max 1 silhouettes by artist Parra (see the below image for the full selection of shoes that did battle).
The final came down to the Air Yeezy II (Red October) entered by Sneakersnstuff, versus the Parra Air Max 1 (Cherrywood) entered by Icon 87 – with the artist collaboration eventually winning the day (with a little voting help from A&S of course).
Once the digital tournament was complete, the teams then competed in a real-life 5-a-side football tournament at the Phenomenal House venue. The results from both the football matches and the digital sneaker battle were then combined on the night to find an overall winner. In the end, it was Sneakersnstuff who came out on top, winning the very impressive prize (revealed through a video recording by Tinker Hatfield) of an all expenses paid trip to Nike's HQ in Portland for a behind-the-scenes tour of the Nike archives and the Innovation Kitchen.
In addition to Nike F.C. and NIKEiD retail spaces, the venue also hosted an excellent Genealogy of Innovation exhibition, showcasing 40 years of Nike design, 30 years of sneaker culture (including some A&S-related classics such as the Dave White Air Stab and the Roundel Air Max 90) and 20 years of Nike Football.
Phenomenal House at the Sorting Office is at 21-31 New Oxford Street, London. Click here to see the full Risk Everything event programme and to pre-register for tomorrow's final event