The Nike brand is world-renowned for its stylish and comfortable range of sneakers. They cover pretty much every sport from running to basketball to casual everyday wear. You can also get Nike sneakers in just about any color, style, or finish you can imagine. We’ve sorted through the athletic apparel company’s immense offerings to showcase some of our favorite Nike sneakers.
1. Nike Air Force 1
The Air Force 1 (or AF1 or AF-1) was never originally called the Air Force. The name is a reference to Air Force One, the plane that carries the President of the United States. The shoes are sold in 5 different styles, low, mid, superlow, high and super high. The mid comes with a connected strap.
The high-top Air Force 1s come with a velcro strap; the mid-top strap is secured to the shoe while the high-top’s strap is movable and removable on some versions. Although the shoe comes in different colors and color schemes, the most common Air Force 1s sold are solid white (also referred to as “white on white”), the second most common being solid black (“black on black”).
2. Nike Hyperdrunk
Since debuting in 2008, Nike Hyperdunks have been battle tested in every way imaginable, from outdoor pickup games to basketball’s greatest stages. With integrated Flywire cables and multiple Zoom Air Units, Hyperdunks have been engineered to take on all challenges and all challengers.
3. Nike Air Jordan 1
Debuting in 1985, the Air Jordan 1 broke the mold – and league rules – with its use of bold and dynamic colorways. … The Air Jordan 1 has been a cultural phenomenon since its inception, and continues to find new methods of expression, including the updated Air Jordan 1 Retro High Flyknit.
4. Nike Air Yeezy 2
The Nike Air Yeezy was developed from 2007 to 2009 by rapper Kanye West, Nike Creative Director Mark Smith and later Nathan Van Hook. Kanye has spoken very highly of Smith as both a collaborator and designer, and Smith has said the same of Kanye, stating that he is “a truly creative talent” and a “natural designer.”
The design process for the Nike Air Yeezy was long and features dozens of sample colorways and silhouettes. Inspiration behind the line notably include the Air Tech Challenge II, Jordan III and IV. The early prototype of the Air Yeezy had many features that greatly differ from the release version of the shoe. For instance, the midsole and outsole featured what the shoe’s creators referred to as “Death Star” tooling, named for the large spherical shape on the back half of the midsole. The outsole also featured the “Y-print” that was used on the toebox of the three release versions. Also, on the very early prototypes, the shoe used LED lights implanted in the outsole, but after issues with low battery life and cost evaluation, production staff at Nike came to the conclusion that phosphorescent rubber would be used in place of the LED lights.
While several color and wear test samples of the Nike Air Yeezy were made, some are more widely known and discussed than others. West wore an all black suede pair during his 2008 Grammy Awards performance of “Stronger” and “Hey Mama.” Up until after his performance, the public was unaware that a collaboration between Nike and Kanye West was in the works. This sample was later sold via an online charity auction to benefit the patients of the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital alongside an unreleased prototype of the Nike Air Yeezy featuring the tooling used on the popular Air Jordan VI. Mark Smith stated that Kanye wanted to use Jordan tooling on the Air Yeezy, but that Nike would not allow it, and therefore, before the date of the auction, Kanye was unaware that the “Jordan VI” Nike Air Yeezy sample existed.
The other sample that was met with much discussion among fans of the shoe was the “Fire Red” Nike Air Yeezy, which was named for the bright red color on the midsole. This colorway was first worn by Kanye during his “Glow in the Dark” Tour and has been worn by the rapper several times since. According to industry rumors, this colorway was strongly considered for release alongside the other 3 release colorways, but was scrapped at the last minute.
5. Nike Free Run 3
The Nike Free Run+ 3 is an incredibly comfortable, light-weight and flexible trainer. It gives the benefits of barefoot running while offering enough protection and support to make even the most predictable shoe consumer consider trying something new.
Inspired by Stanford athletes’ training that included barefoot running on the University golf course, Nike shoe developers sought to create a shoe that would give the benefits of barefoot running with the protection to practice it on any terrain. And the Nike Free was born; a shoe that accommodated the foot’s natural landing angle, pressure, and toe position to give a flexible and light-weight ride.
6. Nike LeBron 11
The Nike LeBron 11 made its debut in October of 2013. They feature Nike Hyperposite technology and supportive dynamic Flywire technology in a new way. While they will mainly go down in history as the signature shoe LeBron James decided not to wear, the LeBron 11 still held up its end from a fan standpoint. Nine colorways dropped in 2013, which included numerous themed pairs such as the ‘Forging Iron,’ ‘Terracotta Warrior, ‘King’s Pride,’ and ‘X-Mas’ editions.
2014 continued to ride the wave of the Nike LeBron 11 as over thirty different colorways were released. They even came in a few different versions, including the Elite, Elite SE, Low and Low SE. Following in the footsteps of the LeBron X, the 11 also came in a few ‘EXT’ editions such as suede and denim. Nike also created a unique ‘2K14’ edition that people needed a code to purchase the sneakers, in-game playing NBA 2K14 on either Playstation 4 or X-Box One. They were limited to 2, 014 pairs and once all pairs were claimed, that was it, they were not sold at a later date.
But, arguably the most popular LeBron 11 was the ‘What The’ edition. This version took inspiration from previous LeBron signature shoes, using elements, colors and designs from GR’s to PE’s. While Nike prepares to unveil the LeBron 12, we can say goodbye to the final signature shoe LeBron James wore in South Beach. But before we put them in the vault, let’s take one last look at the history of the Nike LeBron 11 from its first release up to the most recent below.
7. Nike Foamposite
Originally released in 1997, Nike Basketball debuted its Foamposite technology in the form of two models — the Nike Air Foamposite One and Air Foamposite Pro. Penny Hardaway debuted the One in the only original colorway to release, which also featured his 1CENT logo. The Pros featured an added jewel Swoosh on the sides and no Penny branding to help set to two apart. After the Foamposite Pro became the first of the two to retro, it took quite some time for the Foamposite One to make its return —an idea hard to fathom today.
8. Nike Air Max 90
Continuing the legacy started by the Air Max 1, the Air Max 90 truly celebrates the signature technology by increasing the size of the air bubble and midsole, and accentuates that design element by encapsulating the area with bright and eye-catching colors.
9. Nike Free 5.0
Ideal for runs up to 3 miles, the Nike Free RN 5.0 returns to its roots as a natural motion shoe. An updated flex groove pattern and modified midsole foam provides more flexibility than its predecessor, creating a barefoot sensation with every step. At the upper, breathable and stretchy mesh moves with your foot, while synthetic suede overlays provide stable support.
10. Nike Roshe Run
The Roshe Run arrived in 2012, signaling a shift in sneakers—and those who wear them. … Designed by Dylan Raasch more as a personal project than a company-driven initiative, the original Nike Roshe Run released in 2012 with a one-piece outsole, a two-piece upper with minimal lacing, and a streamlined look.