10 Epic Nike Classics Every Swoosh Fan Should Own
We can’t get enough of new Nike releases and sugar Nikes loaded enough to buy you dinner! The mothership has announced total market domination. Jordans call shotgun when it comes to hype, we got the drill. But we’d like to slow down our greed for a moment. To appreciate the Nike classics that evolved into the industry we love and worship today.
Nike Classic Cortez (1972)
Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman finalized the sketch of the Nike Cortez in 1968. The Nike classics were first introduced to the public 4 years later at Summer Olympics 1972. Dubbed as “the most comfortable shoes ever” by Olympic athletes, the sneakers became part of mainstream and pop culture. They were worn by Whitney Houston at her Super Bowl performance in 1991 for crying out loud! Not to mention Forrest Gump’s feet during his ultra-marathon in the 1994 sensation! So, if you want to go classic about this, buy a clean white Cortez with a colored Swoosh. Like the 2017 take on Gump’s sneakers.
Nike Blazer (1973)
Originally a basketball shoe as with most Nike startups, the Converse look-alike has secured a spot in streetwear fashion as a “simple shoe.” If you want to opt for a vintage Blazer, go for the Nike Blazer Mid 77 classic colorways. Works if you’re big on casual show-ups. But you better not think lightly of this low-key Nike. Since its top collaborators include Off White and Sacai.
Nike Air Force 1 Low (1982)
Designed by Bruce Kilgore in 1982, the Air Force 1 is the first Nike silhouette to adopt Air technology. Did you know that it started out as a basketball shoe and was inspired by the Notre Dame cathedral? This leathery model is arguably the number one Nike classic in history. With super hype collaborations with giants like Supreme, Travis Scott, and Off White. Don’t even call yourself a Nike fan if you don’t own at least one AF1 pair. And it doesn’t have to be a hype pair! White or black will do just fine.
Nike Dunk “Be True to Your School” (1985)
Born 3 years after the legendary Nike Air Force 1 is the legendary Nike Dunk. It started out as a minimalist streetwear sneaker but grew to adopt insane colorway mashups. For insane resale values! Especially when the SB or skateboarding take bumped up the original silhouette in 2002. Can you imagine Nike without Dunk? Or Nike Dunk without the extra SB?
The most coveted Nike Dunk classics are the “Be True to Your School” pack. The Syracuse & Kentucky colorways even recently dropped in 2020. Typically for $100, Dunks are among the cheapest and most worthy investments in the sneaker industry.
Nike Air Max 1 (1987)
The Air Max 1 is the first Nike in history to visibly feature an Air-cushioned sole. Did you know that it made its debut in Nike’s first TV ad? Alongside the Air Sock, Air Revolution, Air Trainer 1, and Air Safari. No need to visualize because here’s the original ad. The experimental nature of the sneaker dubbed it a Nike pioneer. And it went on to create a large legacy of other famous models like the Air Max 90 and 97, as pioneers do.
Nike Mag Back to the Future (1989)
Back to the Future didn’t do it the first time but it sure did the second time. When it dropped on Marty McFly’s feet in self-lacing mode! This high-top futuristic sneaker is among the Nike classics we can’t get enough of. Two super limited restocks took place in 2011 and 2016. In support of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. The first restock is reselling for $11K on average. Whereas the second restock 5 years later is now at $31K. If these jetstream Nike classics are set to drop every 5 years, we have our alarm set for 2021!
Nike Air Max 90 (1990)
The Nike Air Max 90 is considered the second best Air Max model after the original Air Max 1. It was designed by Tinker Hatfiled and first released 3 years after model 1 in 1990 (do you see the Nike release chain, people?!) in the famous Infrared colorway. It’s also mostly famous for its Duck Camo colorways, which we saw a whole lot of this year.
Nike Air Command Force (1991)
Koo-koo-ka-choo Mr. Robinson! The Nike Air Command Force commanded the world’s attention on NBA legend David Robinson’s feet. These underrated sneakers are nothing short of Nike classics. With Air technology and an insane pump system, they retroed for the first time since 1991 in 2014. Only a handful of colorways exist to this date.
Nike Air Huarache (1991)
After the Air Max 1 breakthrough, the fear of stripping sneakers down to their skeletons was long gone. The Tinker Hatfield design made its debut in 1991 without the iconic Swoosh logo. Why? To “instead let the technology talk.” Inspired by the Mexican huarache sandal, these Nike classics feature a neoprene sock liner and stability straps. The core mission of the Nike Air Huarache is summed up in this content piece.
Nike Air Foamposite (1997)
A little further into the nineties, the Nike Air Foamposite made its debut in 1997. You can notice the bolder shift in muse around the corner of the 21st century. Originally designed by Scottie Pippen, it dropped in the form of 2 models: the Air Foamposite One and Air Foamposite Pro. The chunky model was inspired by beetles and sunglasses, go figure. The only tricky bit about this sneaker is that if you’re not selective, you won’t win. Its collaboration with Supreme and its take on the ParaNorman animation are golden stars. Did you know they’re described as “heinous” must-haves by sneakerheads?
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