Nike Japan releases new tabi-style, indigo-dyed ISPA Drifter sneakers

The limited-edition kicks, available from August 31, mesh traditional indigo-dyeing with modern sneakers

Kaila Imada
Written by
Kaila Imada
Associate Editor, Time Out Tokyo

Japan is one of the best places for sneakerheads, with numerous stores offering sneakers in every form, style and colour you can imagine. International brands like Nike and Adidas even release special-edition styles and colourways that you can only find in Japan. 

The latest Japan-exclusive Nike kicks are these ISPA Drifter Split in Indigo Dye, which will be available from Tuesday August 31. The ISPA line stands for ‘improvise, scavenge, protect and adapt’; it’s a subdivision of Nike which explores footwear by deconstructing and reimagining sneaker silhouettes.

What makes these sneakers so special is that they are dyed using traditional Japanese indigo-dyeing techniques. Nike teamed up with Tokushima-based dye masters Buaisou to create these one-of-a-kind shoes featuring raw indigo blue.

The sneakers feature a tabi-style toe to make them more Japanese in style. The shoes also come with matching indigo-dyed split toe socks. 

To maintain a raw aesthetic without sacrificing comfort, the shoe is constructed from a mix of lightweight fabrics, suede, cork and a natural hemp upper to hold the dye colour. 

Want a pair? They don't come cheap, though. The Nike ISPA Drifter Indigo retails for ¥60,500. It will be available for purchase from 9am JST on August 31 (limited to one pair per person). You can purchase them online in Japan through Nike SNKRS. They will also be available at Dover Street Market in Ginza and selected Nike dealers.

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