Originally designed for the great Andre Agassi, Nike‘s Air Tech Challenge 2 has made an indelible, irreverent mark on NikeCourt‘s products, received many a retro release and served as a partial inspiration for the culture-shifting Air Yeezy 2. Now, it’s appeared in a new “Black Lava” colorway. A color-flipped take on the original “Lava” style from 1989, the “Black Lava” offers all the molten embellishments fans of the original are used to seeing, but adds a different base hue for a fresh-yet-familiar look.
High-cut uppers swap out white leather for black, which is split between a perforated iteration on the base panels and a smooth style on the overlays. White leathers is used sparingly on the forefoot and midfoot, but makes its presence known on the heel. Signature speckled lava accents appear on front and rear mudguard pieces, and more lava flows over the collar’s liner. Branded flair is handled by a lava Swoosh, black Nike Air hits embroidered on the heel tabs, and a gradient-style tongue patch. Grey TPU forefoot eyestays and collar wings complete the upper’s style, adding support and accenting tones in equal measures.
Down below, the midsole jumps between white and grey and utilizes a visible Air unit in the heel. This signature shape and style was borrowed by Kanye West and Nike designer Nathan VanHook for the aforementioned Air Yeezy 2 in 2012, proving the staying power of Agassi’s flair for the dramatic and the Tech Challenge 2’s standout style. Outsoles with final hot lava hits round things off.
The Nike Air Tech Challenge 2 “Black Lava” is available at Nike GB, and retails for £109.95 GBP (approximately $143 USD).