Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman would never think that the freezing 1964 winter would be the first step of the greatest sportswear brand ever. It all starts with the Blue Ribbon Sport, that was a company in charge of importing and selling a massive selection of celebrated Japanese running sneakers: years and years spent producing shoes for the Olympic Games led to the creation of Nike Inc. in 1971 next to Portland, Oregon. Nike breaks into the market with Cortez gaining an immediate success during the 1972 Olympics: the originals structure consists of a sturdy foam midsole along with a heel lining to decrease stress impact and setting brand-new comfort standards. A series of minimal details (like the legendary Swoosh logo) is taken after the wings of the so-called "Samothrace" Greek goddess of victory and round off that USA-colored model. Read more…
The relentless Nike's rise to fame goes through historical changes and matchless sneakers, but patenting the waffle sole in 1974 was the real breakthrough moment: this state-of-the-art technology introduces a new grip concept and has a different cushioning approach, making Waffle Trainer the most revolutionary running kicks ever and featuring a Gaufre-like three-dimensional outline. Cushioning goes beyond in 1978 when a Nasa engineer plans a pair of shoes provided with an Air bubble in the midsole: Air Talwind debuts at the Honolulu marathon, achieving an immediate success and standing out as a pivotal stage in running footwear's history. The 1982, instead, is the year of Air Force 1: inspired to the USA presidential airplane, the so-called "Uptowns" - worn especially by Bronx and Harlem young fellas - are the first basketball sneakers ever supplied with Air Technology, becoming in a flash the top-selling kicks all over the world and launching the retro sneakers' phenomenon due to its great demand. No doubt the '80s have been the Air Max land, nothing but the most beloved and sought-after family in streetwear culture: Nike built its path to glory going hard on technological improvements, design researches and high performances, ranging from Air Max 1 - introduction of visible Air - to new hip silhouettes. The curvy and brave Air Max 95 figure, for instance, comes from accurate anatomical investigations on the human body, that led the chief designer Sergio Lozano to conceive a trend-setting sport shoe. The recipe of game-changing Air Max 97, instead, spotlights different tasty ingredients like the suggestive lines of the Japanese "Silver Bullet" train, reflecting silver details and an all-length Air Max Air bubble. Air Max Plus "Tuned" - the notorious Nike TN - had an impressive impact on runners world, shocking everyone with a forward-looking cushioning system and a cheeky shape. All these models are just the tip of the iceberg of an ever-changing world that keeps on dealing with futuristic textures and modern materials, bringing back updated sneakers from the past - just as it has been for Roshe Run, now your everyday footwear choice. Those trainers grab some elements from '90s runners - deconstructed uppers and featherweight cloths above all. On the other hand, Huarache borrows some features from Maya sandals mixing them with an exoskeleton-like upper, equipped with an inner neoprene sock that comes from water-skiing. The always changing market of fabrics forces every brand to pursue alternatives to already known textures in order to produce competitive sneakers and apparel garments: whilst Flyknit first appearance opened new scenarios for sneakers, on the other hand the Swoosh involved this fabric in all its Tech Pack gears to turn Nike sweatshirts and T-shirts around. This technological step forward concerned even all Nike windrunners, improving their versatility and lightness: this featherweight textile fiber plays a key role in the footwear manufacturing and looks like the real wild card of Nike catalog, feeling at ease upon every single pair of shoes. Flyknit makes Air Presto - the so-called "T-shirt for your feet" - even more comfortable and nimble by relieving the classic sock-like structure, but it also gives a different touch to a timeless classic like Nike Dunk, that broke down into market in 1985 with a design based on Air Force outline, displaying a bright color blocking and redefining athletes performances. Spiridon and Air More Uptempo, then, belong to that retro sneakers vein: the former are running sneakers conceived for long distance walks, while the latter are just the flawless basket sneakers worn by Scottie Pippen, displaying that visible bubble and a maxi "Air" side writing that have made them a style icon both on and off court. Becoming a champion has never been easier with Nike - Just Do It!
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