Wondering how Nike got started as one of the most prolific and iconic shoe brands? While Nike makes more than shoes, the swoop on someone’s feet, whether they’re playing pro basketball or going for a jog, is unmistakable. But how did that get started?
Take a look at some of the most classic Nike shoes, and see how they’ve changed and developed over the years. You may even find a new pair to add to your collection.
1. Air Force 1
Nike got started in 1964, began designing shoes in 1971, and came out with the Air Force 1 design in 1982. This design has remained one of the most popular Nike sneakers. It comes in a wide variety of styles from super-low to super-high and was the first to use Nike Air technology.
Considering the amount of Nike Air lines that followed, it’s unquestionable how much this shoe had an impact on the brand as a whole. You can find out now what the latest Air Force 1s look like and even find a pair to suit you.
2. Air Jordan 1
The Nike Air Jordan came out in 1985, designed specifically for Michael Jordan, and was the first signature sneaker made by Nike. This is by far one of Nike’s most popular sneakers, and new styles continue to come out featuring more current trends.
The silhouette features a simple sole and hightop style to support the ankles. Air Jordans have gone through many iterations, but the Air Jordan 1 is still the most recognizable and memorable of the bunch.
3. Air Max 1
The Nike Air Max 1 is one of the most recognizable among Nike sneakers. It changed the game for the shoe industry by using pouches filled with pressurized gel in the sole, which you could see through windows in the shoes. This look has evolved and the line has grown since they were first developed in 1987.
Many shoes today still utilize the style of showing the clear pressurized pouches in the soles, which add more spring to your step and can be worn for style or sport.
4. Nike Dunk
The Nike Dunk was initially made for basketball, and quickly became several sports teams’ official shoe as they came out in colors to match several college teams. The Dunk first hit markets in 1985 but has gone through many style iterations. First, it was a trend in basketball, then for street fashion, and later was trendy in skater communities.
5. Air Huarache
The Nike Air Huarache is one of the most unique designs and has been worn as both athletic footwear and as a fashion statement. When it came out in 1991, it was modeling the latest innovative ideas for footwear, including using an inner lining made of neoprene to mold to your foot. This snug fit and reinforced ankle strap on the back make them both comfortable and functional for all-day wear.
6. Nike Cortez
This shoe, developed as a track shoe in 1972, was one of the first for Nike. It features the iconic swoosh logo on a simple, low-top style. The thick foam sole adds spring and gives you plenty of wear time.
While this shoe dates back over 50 years, it’s still well-loved and well-worn.
7. Air Max 90
The Air Max 90 came out in 1990, second in the Air Max collection, and has been heralded as the greatest version in that sneaker line. It contains the classic Air Max style with a bigger sole and a more plush look. This is one of the sneakers leaning into the big sneaker trend, and they’re still popular today.
8. Nike Blazer
The Nike Blazer, named for the Portland Blazers and developed in 1973, remains one of the most popular Nike sneakers. This was the shoe that started it all for NBA fans and was only the third style released by Nike for sneakers.
You can get mid-top and low-top styles to this day. This style has also seen various collaborations between Nike and other designers. You can find it in a lot of unique colors today to fit almost any personal preference.
9. Air Pegasus
The Air Pegasus line started in 1983 and is still going strong, and has produced some of the best Nike sneakers for long-distance running and other athletic activities. Currently, the most popular design on the market is the Air Pegasus 36, which has all the class of the early models, only further perfected over time.
10. Air Presto
The Nike Air Presto hit the market in 2000 and brought a whole new approach to Nike shoes. These are some of the best Nike sneakers for those looking for comfort over anything else. They were marketed as easy to wear, like a T-shirt for your feet.
They have a mesh body and foam midsole to add to the ease of wear. The breathable fabric helps keep feet cool and allows you to move well. These sneakers are still a style worn today, and you can see their influence in a lot of other shoe designs that feel almost more like socks than shoes.
Classic Nike Shoes
The most classic Nike shoes are thankfully some of the most popular Nike sneakers to hit the market. This means that many are still being made and sold today. But if you’re a dedicated fan, you might like the thrill of the hunt as you try to track down some of the older, more iconic, and out-of-stock styles.
Whether you want something fresh, or something with a vintage spin, these classic Nike shoes have something for everyone. And if you learned something new about these iconic Nike shoes, keep reading for more interesting info.