Nike is set to release a line of shoes, called "Nike Offline", that cater to our more sedentary lifestyles as a result of COVID-19. As one might expect, studies suggest our new lives in quarantine are making Americans less mobile, with more time being spent at home than every before. This fact likely has many athletic apparel companies stirring, looking for new product offerings that match our search for comforts in a difficult time.
Think of Nike Offline as the sleekest footwear option for aspiring couch potatoes—as a recent press release from Nike describes it, the new line of footwear embodies an "anti-sneaker silhouette designed for the moments when 'doing nothing' is the most important thing for you to recharge."
The shoes are in fact part of Nike's N. 354 footwear line, a concept-driven label meant to push forth bold ideas from the company's design team. The shoes point to two interesting consumer needs in this moment: both a need for products that encourage us to slow down and relax and products that align with our "new normal" routines.
Nike Offline has some features meant to up your relaxation levels while also catering to the customizability trend we've seen in footwear for some time now. A pair of Offline shoes include two interchangeable drop in midsoles with nubs placed at pressure points to create "massage-like experience for the wearer", as the press release describes. The tongue of the shoe features an exaggerated, exposed-foam padding meant to heighten comfort for the wearer. All of these elements work together to ensure wearers are comfortable throughout the day as they work from home or lounge on the couch.
We already know what you're thinking—the form of the Offline is controversial, living more in a Croc-like category than other Nike footwear options available. But it would be difficult for anyone to argue that the release of a shoe like this doesn't signify one thing: athletic companies want to be included in our home-centric new lifestyles.
The Nike Offline releases August 28 on SNKRS, SNEAKERS and at select retailers.