Originally released in 1999, the AND1 Tai Chi rose to sneaker stardom when Vince Carter wore it in the epic 2000 NBA Slam Dunk Contest. Now, the contemporary update to that historic shoe has arrived: the Tai Chi Knit.
The original AND1 Tai Chi was about as ’90s a hoop shoe as it could be; it featured a durable leather and synthetic upper, a thickly padded collar and tongue, and a wide TPU shank for torsional support. Underfoot, the shoe rode atop an EVA midsole for lightweight cushioning and a high-density rubber outsole for traction.
For 2018, the unmistakable asymmetrical sneaker has been updated with textured knit lateral side panels and tongues where, historically, leather had always been used. This should give the shoe better ventilation, a lighter build, and an interesting new look. However, the shoe retains its premium suede medial overlays.
“The whole idea is to continue paying homage to our iconic shoe while adding elements of what’s hot now,” Dexter Gordon, AND1 Basketball Brand Manager told WearTesters. “The retro premium suede with knit panels on the OG style is doing exactly that! This is leading up to new modernized versions of the Tai Chi series.”
According to Gordon, the Tai Chi Knit will release at ComplexCon 2018 (November 3-4) alongside the OG White/Red and the graphic Tai Chi ‘Mixtape’ pictured below.
Look out for more knit updates to AND1’s classic kicks in the coming months. For now, let us know what you think about the Tai Chi Knit in the comments below.
Images courtesy of AND1 Japan