by Brendan Dunne
Images by Andy Hur
There are certain shoes that end up imprinted in our collective memory because of their presence in a pop culture moment. Some of these come from movies: the Nike Cortez will always be associated with Forrest Gump and the Nike Air Command Force is the White Men Can't Jump sneaker. But,sometimesthese moments come from a newsworthy eventwherein a pair of shoes builds a lasting connection for anyone preoccupied with footwear.
The Nike Decadein its black and white colorway is one of those shoes, and is tied to a particularly morbid moment in American history. The shoes were worn by members of the Heaven's Gate cult during the group's mass suicide that took place from March 24-26, 1997. The eerie photos from the scene of the crime famously featured each member in the same uniform, with the same black pants and black andwhite Nikes. The relatively unknown Nike model was for many years assumed to be a Nike Cortez. Grainy photos from the scene have been examined plenty by footwear enthusiasts online since, who eventually pegged it properly as the Nike Decade.
Unsurprisingly, the shoehas never been back since its original release. Part of this probably has to do with the fact that the shoe ...