words // Zack Schlemmer
As a collector and somebody whose job it is to pay attention to shoes every single day, there is obviously a huge number of models both new and old that I’d like to have. Combine the sheer number of sneakers out there with the fact that I’m unwilling to pay over $200 for any single pair, and the list of shoes that I don’t own that I’d really like to is quite long. When picking out the one pair of shoes I still haven’t acquired that I want more than any other, I considered a few things, most importantly: wearability.
There’s a ton of vintage original shoes I’d love to own like the Nike Air Max 2 runner, or Penny Hardaway’s black and royal Nike Air Up PE—both of which top the list of my “grails”—but it’s unlikely that I’d ever find a pair of either that I could confidently wear without the worry of crumbling midsoles. So I asked myself, “What’s a shoe I want that’s totally rare, yet still wearable?” The answer to that question: The Nike Zoom Talaria.
Unfortunately, I’m not the only one looking for a pair of this Volted-out, full-length bottom loaded Zoom Air beauty from 1997, as any pair that shows up on eBay is probably snatched up before the eBay app on my phone even has a chance to send out a notification. There aren’t many pairs of the Talaria left out there, and those that have them aren’t selling. I don’t blame them.
This cult-classic masterpiece by Tinker Hatfield (of course) retroed a few years back, but mind-bogglingly didn’t return in any OG colorways (I’d settle for any of the OG colors, not just the Volt). At this point, the Talaria has become so legendary in my own mind, I almost hope they don’t ever get retroed in their true form—because whenever I finally hunt down an OG pair, it will be that much sweeter.
So why do I love the Zoom Talaria so much? I'm not really even sure, myself. I have no nostalgic story connected to them. I never had them when I was younger, never had an older brother that owned a pair, or anything like that. I just love the design, which seems to call to me in some mysterious way.
The $200 limit I set for myself that I mentioned earlier? That’s out the window for the Talaria. So, dear readers, if you or anyone you know has a pair they are willing to part with in a size 10.5 or 11, hit me up! I’ll buy them, I’ll trade you pretty much any shoe I own for them, I’ll mow your lawn all summer, whatever it takes. I need them!