words_Terence Tang images_Zac Dubasik Introduced in 1992 and popularized by five flashy freshman at the University of Michigan, the original Nike Air Flight Huarache has earned iconic status in sneaker history. It also happens to be the first basketball shoe that Eric Avar worked on at Nike. Designed with minimalism in mind, the Huarache was a shoe stripped down to absolute performance necessities, yielding a lightweight shoe with sandal-like comfort. These design principles were re-introduced in 2004 by way of the Air Zoom Huarache 2K4, again earning immediate significance in basketball footwear development and spawning a line of shoes which remains a favorite among the basketball community.� Seven models removed from the 2K4, the Huarache 2010 continues the line's reputation for great comfort and elite performance. Before I continue, I feel compelled to briefly disclose my findings from the previous model, the 09. The Huarache line is known for its great comfort and popular heel and forefoot Zoom Air midsole cushioning setup, and the 09 really pushed the envelope in those areas. A lot. The 09 is by far the most heavenly, walking-on-clouds-comfortable basketball shoe I've ever had the pleasure of wearing - and it was perhaps the worst thing that could've happened to a hoops shoe. Its marshmallow-soft midsole completely compromises the lateral stability of the shoe, creating not only less-than-stellar lateral movement on the court, but also a scenario in which players are more prone to roll their ankles. I was hoping that Nike would fix the issue in the 2010 model, especially since the 08 was a solid performer and the 09 was the first (and hopefully only) Huarache hiccup. So what seemingly happened with the 2010 is that Nike hit "undo" and reverted back to the 08 (while exaggerating the aesthetics). With the 2010 on one foot and the 08 on the other foot, it feels as though I'm wearing a matching pair. Same fit, lockdown, cushioning, weight, lateral stability, ankle collar height, and heel to toe transition. I'm not kidding - they feel identical. For you Huarache virgins, the 2010's minimal construction lends itself to great playability with zero break-in period. One can take the shoes right out of the box and hit the courts without any stiffness - they're just that flexible. Quick players will enjoy the light weight (not quite Hyperdunk light, but lighter than most shoes on the market) and solid lateral stability. Of course, Zoom Air in the heel and forefoot are always highly appreciated. Lockdown is good while helped by the inner sleeve, and players with semi-wide feet will appreciate being able to lace them up tightly without pinky toe rubbing. Lacing the shoes all the way up to the top of the ankle collar, players will enjoy a gentle hug around the ankle without excessive restriction. Traction seems to have received a slight upgrade from the previous two models, thanks to a wider herringbone pattern as opposed to the 08 and 09's narrow herringbone enclosed in gimmicky circular pods. My only complaint is that as stripped down as these shoes are, breathability should be better. The toebox features a triangular set of small vent holes on either side of the foot, but they're simply not substantial exhaust vents. And while the inner sleeve may seem breathable at its exposed areas, such as along the tongue and triangular cutouts on the sides, it just doesn't do a great job of allowing the foot to dissipate heat. Huarache fans will find a familiar feel and get solid performance out of the Huarache 2010. This shoe is great for the quick and agile players of the world, regardless of position. While not a major breakthrough in any aspect, the 2010 is without any major flaws and effortlessly carries on the Huarache tradition of consistency. Who's Worn It? Chris Bosh (Toronto Raptors), Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies), Rashard Lewis (Orlando Magic), LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland Trail Blazers), Ronnie Brewer (Utah Jazz), James Posey (New Orleans Hornets), Boris Diaw (Charlotte Bobcats) Available Now at Eastbay: http://www.eastbay.com/product/model:137289/sku:86432111/Nike%20Hurache%202010%20-%20Men%27s?supercat=home&cm=GLOBAL%20SEARCH%3A%20PRODUCT%20NUMBER%20SEARCH&coremetricsDo=true