Nike Air Rift Breathe
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33% say it's too small, 67% say it's true to size.
Overview of this review
Nike Air Rift Breathe: Sparking the split-toe craze
The Nike Air Rift Breathe is the best entry to the off-beat sneaker game. Its design was stirred from 1995 running footwear called the Nike Air Rift. This classic split-toe running kick promoted the natural motion of the feet and was inspired by Kenyan distance runners, who usually run using their bare feet.
Nike updated the Air Rift with the breathable, thin, and ultra-durable Nike Tech Ultramesh, releasing the Nike Air Rift Breathe. This iteration is made with an eco-friendly mesh upper with extra-large perforations allowing your feet to breathe air in and out, maximally. The brand kept the signature split-toe and midfoot Velcro strap inspired by the Japanese tabi-toe socks.
Over the years, some of Nike's most innovative running footwear were influenced by the Air Rift, such as the Nike Free. Check some of them here.
Why split the toe?
During the 15th century, the Japanese designed footwear that they called tabi toe. This footwear design has a split between the toe area and the rest of the foot for various reasons. It allows the toes to move freely, thus more flexibility and stability while walking. It also boosts support and comfort as it mimics the natural movement of the foot.
Nike Air Rift Breathe's tabi-toed kin
If you want to feel and look like a ninja, check another split-toe sneaker offered by Nike, the ISPA Drifter Split. This deconstructed sneaker from the ISPA line boasts its mid-top construction with split-toe detail, making this pair a truly noteworthy one. Nike inserted it with the comfy ZoomX unit for that bouncy and soft cushioning.