The “90s” is over, but it doesn’t mean that we’re not revisiting the sneaker world, which, in some ways, is about to return.
Today, we’ll take a look at the history of the sneakers that are synonymous with that decade.
(And yes, I know, I’m using the term “90’s” to mean the decade from the mid-’80s to the mid-1990s.)1.
The Sneaker Brothers: The “60s” and “70s”The “60”s and “80s” are the years of the “60,” and it is those two eras that we are most interested in today.
The “80”s saw the emergence of the iconic American brand Nike and the introduction of the Nike Air Jordan.
As the “90”s rolled on, Nike continued to evolve its silhouettes, and eventually started to introduce a number of shoes with the word “60”—which, as it turns out, were made in the “70”s.
Nike’s sneaker lineup in the late ’70s, early ’80s was so well-known that they had to rename their line in 1987.
(I guess that’s what they called them when they went from “50” to “60.”)
This led to a whole slew of sneaker-specific models (some of which have since become iconic, like the Nike Boost) that were inspired by the designs of the late-70s and early ’81.
The original Air Jordan is one of these.2.
The Air Jordan IV: The most iconic shoe everMade in 1988 by the Nike family, the “IV” (pronounced “IV-toe”) was the first Nike shoe to use the company’s signature 3D printed sole.
The shoe featured the iconic silhouette of the company (with a gold colorway of the silhouette and a “P” on the heel), and the signature “Nike” logo.
The sneaker was one of the first of the Air Jordan shoes to be released in North America, and became a cult-classic.
Nike sold out its last pair in 1997, and the brand has since released over 20 iterations of the shoe.3.
The Nike Air Zoom: The first sneaker to use “S” in its nameIn 1986, Nike introduced the Air Zoom, a shoe that was, in the words of the designer, “the shoe of the future.”
In an interview with the designer Robert Ritchie, Ritchie said that the shoe was meant to be a “major step forward” in terms of innovation.
The silhouette of this shoe is still recognizable today.
It was also the first sneaked in the US, with the release of the Jordan XI in 1989.4.
The Reebok Dunk: The shoe that defined “sneaker” sneakersFor those of you who are new to sneaker culture, “sneeaker” is a shortened version of the word sneakers, which refers to a shoe made with a molded heel, with a heel that is attached to the front of the foot.
Nike coined the term sneaker in 1996, when they released the Nike Dunk, the first shoe with a sneaker “sole.”
The Dunk is one a shoe’s “flagship,” and has become one of Nike’s most iconic silhouettes.5.
The LeBron James: The greatest player in NBA historyWhen it comes to basketball, there are few people that are as recognizable as LeBron James.
James is a player that has been able to break the color barrier for decades, and in his 20 years as a pro, he has made numerous superstitions and legends out of his shoe choices.
LeBron’s signature sneakers have become synonymous with his sport, and have become so popular that they have been dubbed “LeBron” and even “The LeBron.”
This past season, LeBron went to the NBA Finals wearing a pair of LeBron James Nike Air Max Zoom sneakers.6.
The Jordan 1: The one shoe that changed the worldAs Nike’s first athletic shoe, the Jordan 1 was the shoe that gave birth to “The One.”
The Jordan was designed by Jordan Brand, a footwear company founded by his father, Jordan Brand Sr. In the early ’90.s, Jordan released the Jordan 4, the shoe the father had envisioned for years.
But that wasn’t enough for Nike, and they wanted more.
To that end, Nike launched the Jordan 5, the 5th iteration of the product, and that was the one shoe the Jordan family decided would change the world.
Nike decided to release the Jordan 6, and by the time the first version of Nike Air 3 hit the market in the summer of 2002, the entire Jordan brand was on the verge of extinction.7.
The Shoe That Saved Us: The Nike X seriesThe Nike X line, which was launched in 1999, was a major step in the evolution of the sneakers that are now ubiquitous in the modern era.