Feast your eyes on some of the most iconic Nike sneakers for men. From the Marty McFly shoes to the Waffle Trainer, here are the pairs that helped shape the brand!
7 Nike Sneakers That Define The Culture Of Men’s Shoes
If diamonds – or makeup – are a girl’s best friend, sneakers are any man’s best buddy. In fact, it’s an essential piece of your wardrobe. But while the shoe world has treated us with some of the most good-looking pairs, I know a few that stand out because of their looks and stories. These include the 7 Nike sneakers for men so iconic they are a collector’s dream.
1. Nike Air Mag (2015)
The year 2015 was huge for movie fans because it’s the year the Delorean arrived in the future (confusing, right? You better watch Back to the Future II). It introduced us to the Hoverboard, flying cars, and the self-lacing pair of shoes. Sadly, two years after, we can’t still fly our sedans and Hoverboards are still not mass-produced, but at least Nike gifted us with the last one.
This is the Nike Air Mag 2015 – sleek, futuristic, and, yup, self-lacing.
So far, this is only a limited-edition line, and the brand only made 89 pairs, one of which they gave to Michael J. Fox (of course). Nike auctioned three, the proceeds of which they offered to Fox’s Parkinson’s foundation, and raffled off the rest. If you can’t get a pair, then try these instead.
2. Nike Air Jordan 1 (1984)
To say Nike and Michael Jordan are close is an understatement. Both grew up together – His Airness and Air Jordan sneakers, that is. The time Nike launched the shoes, MJ was a rookie in NBA!
The first Air Jordan also created quite a stir. Being a red-and-white combo, the shoes did not comply with the NBA rules. He had to pay a whopping $5,000 fine per his appearance with the pair, but it looks like it worked to his advantage. Not only did it catapulted MJ to fame and showed the others sneakers don’t have to be white all the time, Air Jordan became one of the legendary lines of Nike.
3. Nike Waffle Trainer (1974)
The first time is always an adventure, and for Nike, one of the most memorable earliest pairs is the Waffle Trainer. It’s one of the first Nike shoes for running and a pair with an incredible story: Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman, a track coach, made the prototype of the grooves by creating a mold from a waffle iron.
That’s why the sole kind of looked like this!
It’s a one in a million shot to find the original pair or something close to it, but the good news is the Waffle Trainer pairs today exude old school meets new school fashion.
Note: Before the official Waffle Trainer released in 1974, there was Moon Shoe in 1972. However, it’s the Waffle Trainer that made the brand a resounding success.
4. Nike Air Max 95 (1995)
With more than a hundred colorways available, the Nike Air Max is no doubt a successful line, and the 95 leads the pack. The Nike Air Max 95 running shoes, inspired by the human body (look at the “spine” of the shoe), is famous for being the first among the line to have a pair of air cushions and a flexible air pressure to support the forefoot. In other words, it sure spells comfort.
Looking good and truly functional, the shoes became a phenomenon, so much so it inspired songs like “Hate It or Love It.”
5. Nike Dunk SB High FLOM (2005)
Graphic print shoes are the rage these days, with brands such as Gucci, Converse, and Adidas riding with the trend. But the Nike Dunk SB FLOM (For Love or Money) released in 2005 is a different breed. It is definitely not the cheapest Nike shoes for men with a pair selling as much as $12,500 on eBay! Designed by Futura 2000, the line only had 24 sneakers sold at an auction in HK, so it shouldn’t be surprising why it has a hefty price tag.
6. Nike Pegasus (1983)
A favorite among fitness enthusiasts, especially runners, Pegasus is known for two things: soft cushion so it’s comfortable to wear for long periods of time and iterations. It already has more than 25 updates since the company released it in the early 1980s. For being an enduring shoe, it deserves a place in our iconic Nike sneakers list.
7. Nike Air Force 1 (1982)
A cult favorite among the sneakerheads (collectors of sneakers), the Air Force 1 is inspired by the presidential plane due to its technology. It’s one of the first Nike shoes to have the proprietary air tech, which is composed of pressurized sole units that minimize the impact upon landing.
This list of iconic Nike sneakers for men deserves an equally memorable Nike ad featuring none other than Michael Jordan. Called the Second Generation (Let Your Game Speak), it pays homage to His Airness with teens recreating some of his basketball moves:
How do you find my list of iconic Nike sneakers? For sure, there are more, yet these for me are the best of the bunch. Some of them may have already been forgotten, but certainly, all of them are part of our and Nike’s history. And I bet you know the past does shape the present and the future.
What are your favorite iconic Nike sneakers? I’d love to know more about them, especially those cheap sneakers! Care to wear formal and sneakers? Then read our guide on the best sneakers for men in suits.