How the Ari Menthol 10s changed the sneaker game


Daniel Torres, Senior

During the early 2000s, the public obsessed over major corporations such as, granting artist, Ari Saal Forman, who saw the opportunity to make the most desirable bootleg sneaker ever. Using his talents, Ari would construct something infamous and forbidden. 

Taking inspiration from the two biggest companies at the time, Nike and Newport, Ari would design his shoe based off of the very well known Nike Air Force 1 Silhouettes, adding many miniscule details to represent the Newport tobacco industry. Ari built up the motivation and the courage to release his new sneakers after noticing the increasing popularity of Nigo’s Bathing Ape Bapestas in Japan. He went on to produce only 252 pairs available to the public, and on June 17, 2006, the Ari Menthol 10s were released, which sold out immediately.

With the Menthols being all everyone would talk about at the time in New York, Nike and Newport would take legal action and sue Ari for thousands of dollars for not having the rights of creating the sneaker.

The sneaker comes in a box designed like a pack of cigarettes, and the shoes themselves come in a green colorway. The shoes’ slogan is “Get off the brand wagon,” which is written on the side of the box. According to Ari in an interview with Vice, “…we were saying that bigger and better things could be done.”

Nowadays, the Menthol 10s are a very sought after pair, because there is only a limited amount of this sneaker available, and those available are reselling for thousands of dollars. Gustavo Monjaras was asked what his take on the shoes were, to which he replied, “They’re different with the upside down swoosh looking like Travis Scott’s shoe.” 

The movement started by Ari has inspired most of what’s going on today with sneakers with Nike working with many different designers and individuals to create a unique product.