The greatest compliment that I can pay this is wonderful trainer is to compare it to that other ageless classic, the Converse All-Star. I liken the Mach Runner to the Converse great, because like the All-Star, it's carries a simple, effortless cool; nothing too fancy, flash or over the top, just an elegant sophistication. Due to that subtlety and sleekness, it's timeless. Whether you're wearing them now on the street in England, or whether you wore a pair to do the New York marathon way back in 1976, it’s a shoe that looks equally at home in either setting. There aren't many trainers that can pull off such a trait and it's one that should be admired.
The original Mach Runner trainer was released in 1976, but as is the way with many classic trainers, as fashions change, has come in and out of production over time. The latest reincarnation and reissue came back in 2000 but in more recent years has again been rotated back out of manufacture. Thankfully for us fans however, due to Nike’s enormous and vast catalogue, the Mach Runner has had similar cousins in the form of the Cortez or the Oceania to fill the voids.
I got my first Mach Runners in 2003 after randomly stumbling across a pair in Newcastle. Later that year I decided to up sticks and go walkabout around America on my lonesome, I was traveling light with just the one item of footwear deemed necessary. I needed something cool and sleek enough to suit any situation be it bar-hopping or sightseeing, and comfortable enough to withstand three months of pavement pounding from New England to California. My trainer of choice? The Nike Mach Runner.
Since then, I'm now on to pair number five and still love them as much to this day. I'm perhaps shooting myself in the foot by writing this article as its now getting harder and harder to find a good pair on eBay; but I feel passionately that they have gone under appreciated for far too long.
Lately I've noticed a few Mike Ashley owned, pile em' high, sell em' cheap sports shops flogging a slightly tacky plastic version of the classic, it's a version that doesn't really work and to be honest just looks plain nasty. Hopefully this new version of the Mach Runner will not will not spawn a 'Reebok Classic' style chav revolution that has happened in the past.
It’s now been thirteen years since its last re-boot, but with a bit of luck it won't be too long before the next one occurs and the classic fabric version is re-released. I hope for this because in the trainer world, as classics like the All Star and the Reebok Pump have shown over the years, form and fashion are temporary, but class is truly permanent.