Nike ACG (All Conditions Gear) has a rich history that traces its origins back to the 1970s. The hippie movement of that era, characterized by a search for freedom and connection with nature, inadvertently influenced the outdoor clothing and footwear trend. Even during hikes in places like Yosemite Park, people sported unconventional outfits, including sneakers, as opposed to traditional outdoor gear. This cultural shift laid the groundwork for Nike’s foray into the outdoor market.

In 1981, Nike introduced its first outdoor-oriented line called Nike Hiking. This precursor to the ACG series featured three models: Lava Dome, Approach, and Magma. These shoes were lighter and more technologically advanced than their competitors, boasting features like quick-drying linings and Gore-Tex waterproofing. Nike’s decision to incorporate vibrant colors, in contrast to the industry norm of muted tones, set the stage for their unique approach to outdoor gear.

The true evolution occurred in 1989 when Nike officially launched the ACG line. Unlike its predecessors, ACG embraced a broader scope, designing products not just for mountain trips but also for activities like snowboarding, biking, and kayaking. This all-encompassing approach aimed to provide gear that thrived in various weather conditions.

Initial ACG shoe models included the Son of Lava Dome and Wildwood, which were versatile enough for outdoor training and running. Nike also adopted Gore-Tex extensively for its clothing line, offering a range of products from snowboard jackets to lightweight tracksuits. The pinnacle of the ACG lineup was the Air Mowabb, introduced in 1991, combining Nike Air technology with Tinker Hatfield’s design influence.

The ACG design team at Nike was renowned for its creativity, paving the way for unconventional outdoor products. Over time, designers like Tinker Hatfield and Peter Fogg established high standards in the industry. However, the landscape changed in 2014 when Errolson Hugh, known for the innovative ACRONYM brand, joined NikeLab as the creative director for ACG. His influence shifted ACG towards a streetwear and techwear aesthetic, garnering a new audience.

Despite a successful urban-focused phase, Errolson’s collaboration with Nike concluded in 2018. This marked a return to ACG’s roots, embracing its original colorful and adventurous spirit. In recent years, ACG has capitalized on the growing hiking trend by offering a diverse range of products, including GORE-TEX jackets and archival shoe models. New silhouettes like the Mountain Fly and Moc 3.5 continue to expand the ACG lineup. Despite changes, ACG remains true to its essence, providing gear that withstands all weather conditions, a legacy that spans over three decades.

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