For sale: Nike shoes, never worn

Nike .SWOOSH just dropped the ultimate shoes you'll never wear

(Image credit: Nike)

Have you ever wished your trainers could "remove the barriers of physical product"? Then the .SWOOSH Our Force 1 (OF1) are for you. The first virtual collection from Nike's .SWOOSH brand of digital creations has gone live, selling digital renders of trainers. I feel so very old.

There are two versions of the digital-only product. The OF1 is available in the Classic Remix box or the New Wave Box, and each one contains a digital Our Force 1 version of Nike's iconic Air Force 1, which could be any of the classic designs made between 1982 and 2006 for the Classic box or from 2007 or later for the New Wave one. Each OF1 box is $19.82, which is roughly £16.

If like me you remember when trainers were things you put on your feet, there is a link to physical products too: Nike has previously said that it doesn't see its Web 3.0 virtual products as "the end of the purchase journey" but the beginning of it; as Vogue Business reported at the .SWOOSH launch a couple of months ago, "a virtual shoe might enable holders to preorder a physical counterpart, enable token-gated chats with shoe designers or unlock wearability in a favourite game."

No mean feet

.SWOOSH is Nike's Web3 play, and it's designed to attract more traditional fans of the brand than the crypto-crazy early adopters so much Web3 promotion is aimed at. Nike sees it as "the marketplace of the future", according to Nike Virtual Studios GM Ron Faris, and intends to supplement its virtual creations with "exclusive physical products or experiences."

If you're thinking this sounds awfully like in-game Horse Armour or Bored Ape NFTs, it does – but there is already an online market for virtual sneakers, with 3D models of the likes of Nike Air Max 1s going for around $25 that you can 3D print or import into graphics software. 

Nike has clearly been inspired by the RTFKT model of "phygital fashion" – it's collaborated on an Air Force One model which goes live on 24 April – and it's not the only one: Adidas has its ALTS Web3 platform while Gucci and Vans are going all-in on Roblox wearables. 

I suspect my complete bafflement at all of this is proof of the late Douglas Adam's famous dictum that anything invented after you're 35 is against the natural order of things, but if you know your ALTS from your elbow you can find out more about the OF1 collection on the Nike website. 

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series; her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, was shortlisted for the British Book Awards. When she’s not scribbling, Carrie is the singer in Glaswegian rock band Unquiet Mind (unquietmindmusic).