If the Air Pegasus was an OG ACG shoe, the Wildwood set the standard for trail runners that followed. This model was actually built to match the Pegasus design, but the bellowed tongue, Air-Sole, variable width lacing, that newly introduced lettering on the midsole, all synthetic perforated upper, and PU FootFrame midsole gave it its own identity. The use of a colored Swoosh to counteract murky colors was a smart move and this would get a retro a decade later that brought some new colors (that Fiberops edition was superb) – but there was always the curse of peeling paint jobs. Still, very little beats this shoe’s shape, fit and versatile style.
The Terra line as a lightweight distance running line dates back to around 1980. The Air Terra ACG was a brutal looking trail runner with some curiously flamboyant touches. A Lycra gusset tongue, lace cover, TV static style speckles on the midsole, a deflector shield and Phylon heel counter and multi-directional tyre style sole were the core components of Trip Allen’s creation. But it was the orange, pink and purple of the most popular version of this shoe which made it a thing of functional beauty. Never retroed, but sort of resurrected as the Terra ACG Long Ball in 2007, on the right feet, the original shoe looks incredible.
Beloved of both trekkers and the occasional New Jack Swing act coordinating their footwear, the Baltoro is a classic. A better looking boot than, say, the Lava High, the lighter feel (it was never built for hardcore hiking), dual density midsole, FootFrame, steel shank and waxed leather and mesh upper were all serious applications. The blue, pink and grey remains a fan favorite, but for the brave – and to coincide with some insane colors on jackets and other outerwear by brands like The North Face – the 1991 orange, teal, red and purple blend was the only way to go. The Baltoro was a breakthrough.