A Closer Look at the Nike Presto Lava

nike air presto lava

The Nike Presto Lava is a model that became popular because of its unique design and styling that gives it incredible eye appeal along with the comfort and performance that we’ve come to expect from Nike sneakers. This shoe has become an iconic model that had its roots going all the way back to the mid-1990s. The look of this shoe was intriguing because of the earthy and hot colors which were aptly described by the name. A new generation in the early 2000s with an exciting print that generated a fair amount of hype upon its release for sale to the public. To understand its tremendous appeal if you weren’t a fan when they were released, we take a closer look at the Nike Presto Lava.

The beginning of a current line

The first Nike Presto sneakers were imagined in 1996 as a concept. It took a full four years for the brand to produce the first editions of the Air Presto. The brand identified the fact that there was a public demand or a sneaker that could be used for multiple lifestyle activities including everyday use, running sneakers and basketball shoes.Nike had an interest in designing a sneaker which would serve as a good running shoe with the necessary support, but made of lightweight materials. The Nike Air Presto was released in 2000 accompanied by the slogan that read “The T-shirt for your feet” to underline how comfortable these sneakers were. Just a few of the hallmarks of the Nike Air Presto include extreme flexibility, light weight and the feeling of wearing a sock. The appearance was intended to be to the minimalist side for the basic construction of the styling, but the designs of the variants made under the basic line were intriguing as well as even exciting in their aesthetic. Another attribute which set the Air Presto sneakers apart was the sizing system which ran from XXXS to XXXL, in a non-traditional format. A few of the popular colorways included the Brutal Honey, Ice Pick, Lava, Rainbow, Unholy Cumulus, the iconic Lava, the Rainbow and a total of 13 original colorways. These were the base models which kicked off a line which continues to this day.

The Nike Air Presto Lava

The Lava model was released in 2001 and was a part of the “second wave” of the Nike Air Presto line according to Sneaker News. The bold earthy hues and print gave this colorway a bold appearance which embraced the true spirit of a classic. The Lava caught on with the public and became one of the most sought after models for the year.This is a highly desired retro print from the Presto lineup which is hard to find, but every now and then a pair is placed on auction in mildly used or more rarely, mint condition.

Current edition of the Nike Air Presto Lava

Although there are no more of the Nike Air Presto Lava editions manufactured, there is a new version that is available for 2019. The React Presto Psychedelic Lava is the latest iteration of the shoe. Although the construction design bears some recognizable features to the original released in 2001, this is where the similarities end. The colors are far more vibrant in the Psychedelic Lava in a pastel green upper with white, and accents of bright lime green and orange in a light colored sneaker styling which is a radical departure from the earthier tones of its predecessor. This shoe is no longer considered a shoe that is intended more for runners but rather, a lifestyle sneaker which features a ton of technologies which render it one of the most comfortable sneakers, arguably in the Presto line. The Psychedelic Lava is a new generation of the React Presto and they retail for $120 per pair as a recent release for 2019. These sneakers are not intended to be a regeneration of the 2001 model other than in their comfort and the same materials for the upper, as they are inspired by the retro lava lamps which became popular in the 1970s and have now made a resurgence in pop culture.

Final thoughts

The Nike Air Presto Lava is one of those highly prized retro editions from 2001 that was truly a one of a kind model creation that hasn’t been produced in its original form since it was first released. This places any surviving Lavas in a unique position of being collectible if you can find a pair in pristine condition. It’s been nearly two decades since the Presto Lava hit the market and we haven’t really seen anything to compare with the first pair that was introduced, stirring such a frenzy that they were sold as quickly as they became available. There were many consumers who were not able to find a pair. The newest sneakers in the line were recently released in 2019, brandishing the name Psychedelic Lava and the DNA of the originals is present but the colorway is decidedly different with no resemblance other than materials and the basic design features. The original 2001 Nike Air Presto Lava sneakers were unique and for those who have fond memories, there is simply no replacement. The new generation under the React branding shows the evolution of the shoe that was first conceived back in 1996, in a fresh and bright colorway which has received its share of hype. It is expected that the Psychedelic Lava will establish its own reputation, while distinctly different, it does show a forward progression for a new audience. Nike has made a habit of doing this but some of the iconic models such as the 2001 Lava have gone down in history as a lifestyle sneaker, originally intended as a running shoe now with less emphasis on any one particular use. It’s still one of the most comfortable models that Nike has released.


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