If you’ve been holding on to a pair of the original Nike Air Wovens, prepare to lose your mind. Your old woven pair of shoes just jumped up in value and sneakerhead credibility. On a new episode of Uproxx Style Editor Eli Gesner’s The Masters, Alife’s Rob Cristofaro (Rob 1970) revealed that each of the original pairs of Nike Air Woven Footscapes released through Alife’s original Orchard Street store in the Lower East Side have a one-of-a-kind tag from Philadelphia graffiti legend Espo hidden under their insoles.
“We took these sneakers and right away we gave them to Espo,” Cristofaro says at the 10-minute mark of the episode. “Espo took them all, took all the insoles out, and signed each insole. So the first Nike Air Woven sneakers that the people have in America all have messages within them, no one even know this shit… If you have the first Nike Air Wovens you can take the insole out and you will find some shit.”
While images of the original Nike Air Wovens and information about the debut colorways are scarce (the sneakers dropped 20 years ago), according to Grailed we know that one of those pairs featured an Anthracite and Neutral- Grey-Spice colorway and resold as late as two years ago for a cool $200. Congratulations to whoever scooped up that mint condition pair!
We also want to say sorry to any person who mindlessly threw their Nike Air Wovens away without ever knowing they were holding on to an Espo original — we sincerely feel for you. Why the team at Alife decided to keep this Easter egg hidden for so long, we’ll never know, but it has us wondering what else the label has been hiding throughout its storied history on the streetwear scene.
To see Eli Gesner lose his sh*t at the news of Cristofaro’s reveal, watch the full episode above.