From the field to the street: The evolution of the most popular Nikes

From basketball to running – the connection between Nike and the world of sport has a long tradition. But Nike not only took the fields by storm, but also the hearts of all non-athletes and recreational athletes. From New York to Tokyo, legendary shoe models such as the Air Jordan, Huarache, Air Force 1, Dunk and of course the Air Max have become an integral part of the streets of the world.

Because sneakers from Nike stand for sophisticated technology, which is reflected in their retro-futuristic designs. Like hardly any other brand, it blurs the lines between sport and street style and creates one cult sneaker after another.
So let yourself be carried away into the Nike universe and find out which shoe is made for you!
Nike sneaker

Air Max

The Air Max, inspired by the Paris Center Pompidou, was the first model with a visible air cushion . The “air principle” – compressed gas packed in plastic – was developed by NASA engineer Marion Frank Rudy. Thanks to the legendary commercial with Michael Jordan from 1987, the Air Max established itself on the sneaker market. In 1997, Nike launched a limited edition with a second Swoosh on the side, which is now a highly sought-after collector’s item among sneaker heads.

Air Jordan

The first Air Jordans cost € 57 and were the most expensive basketball shoes ever. According to the NBA rules of the game, the shoes had too little white content, which resulted in Nike having to pay Michael Jordan € 4,420 for every appearance. A pair he wore and signed sold for € 19,600. The release date has been postponed from Wednesday to Saturday to prevent truncation. The Air Jordans 11, which Michael wore in the film Space Jam , was launched four years later. To date, Space Jam is the most successful basketball film ever.


Indian sandals and water ski boots were the inspiration for the Huarache. The Nike check mark can still be seen on the first design, but is missing on the final model – at that time an unexpected and revolutionary step for the brand. Because of the visible foam and the futuristic colors, the Huarache was initially too chunky for commercial success. The pattern sold only five thousand times; at that time 100,000 orders were necessary to even start the production phase. The slogan for the shoe – “Have you hugged your foot today?” – describes how comfortable it is to wear; a shoe that you don’t want to take off anymore.


Initially, the dunk was called “College Color High” and was part of the “Be True To Your School” campaign. It consisted of twelve different models in the colors of the NCAA basketball teams. The Dunk is a mix of different Nike models , including Jordan and Terminator. In 1998 the shoe was reissued and became a symbol of youth culture and one of the most popular sports shoes. The self-service line came onto the market in 2002. The availability of the Dunk SB is controlled by customer needs, which is why the shoe almost never ends up in the sale.

Air Force 1

The Air Foce 1 takes its name from the private jet of the US President. The high tops are among the most popular Air Force 1 models and impress with the Velcro fastener that can be used to fix the strap. There are more than 1,700 different color combinations for the Air Force 1. A model made from anaconda and crocodile leather from 2007 was the first in a four-digit price range at € 1,860. With the numerous hymns on the shoe, for example Nelly’s “Air Force Ones”, you could fill an entire album.

Air Mag

The Nike Air MAG gained its popularity through “Back to the Future 2” , where it is worn by Michael J. Fox ‘Marty McFly. Designers Tinker Hatfield and Tiffany Beers took six years and three new starts to complete. Self-lacing laces and automatic foot adjustment are finally a reality. On October 21, 2015, the “Back to the Future” day, the best place to buy shoes were officially presented to the public. 1,500 pairs were already sold in 2011, but without power shoelaces. The proceeds of 5.1 million euros went entirely to the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Rapper Tinie Tempah paid € 33,500 for the first couple.

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