Nike has announced the return of the Zvezdochka, a Marc Newson-designed space sneaker first developed 10 years ago at the personal request of Nike CEO Matt Parker.
Cratered with holes like the lunar surface, the Zvezdochka was inspired by modular footwear worn by astronauts at the Russian Space Institute; the name refers to the sixth Russian dog sent into space, which I doubt even wore sneakers. The shoes themselves are composed over four intelocking layers: a breathable cage, a flexible inner sleeve, an interior sock liner, and a perforated outsole.
Perhaps because they’re some of the weirdest Nikes anyone has ever seen, the Zvezdochkas were never put into mass production. The five original colorways were limited to 140 pairs when they were released back in 2004, and cost $300. A few other colorways have popped up since then, always in limited release. This 10-year anniversary rerelease will be the widest release the Zvezdochka line has ever seen.
To my mind, the shoes look nearly identical to Apple’s iPhone 5c case. Which is interesting, because it makes me wonder if Newson quietly designed the iPhone 5c case for Apple over a year before it was announced that he’d be joining Apple’s design team. In an interview with Dezeen, Newson says that this “particular shoe has spawned a lot of other interesting concepts.” Maybe the iPhone 5c case was one of them?
So if the idea of wearing a pair of iPhone cases masquerading as space shoes and named after a dead canine cosmonaut appeals to you, the Nike Zvezdochka will be available for purchase online starting December 29 for a still undisclosed price.