Today’s interest in 2000s sneakers is a result of our love for nostalgia. Quick data research below shows the term 2000s sneakers has had a steady increase in search volume since the year 2012.
Evidence that as time progresses the sneakers from this decade increase in sentimental value with people wanting to add the pieces to their collection.
The 80s and 90s saw sneaker brands competing for the majority market share by innovating the best footwear for consumers and athletes, using brand ambassadors for partnerships, and creating memorable marketing campaigns.
By the time the 2000s came around consumers had already formulated decisions in their minds as to which brands were the best, reflected by their sales of these sneakers, community discussion, and longevity of demand.
Here are the Best 2000s Sneakers
Nike Presto – 2000
The first-ever version of the Nike Presto was unveiled during the Sydney Olympics in 2000. The concept behind the Presto was to launch a running shoe that incorporated all the advanced footwear technologies at the time. It blended both style, and comfort in one.
When launched, the Nike Presto was referred to as the “t-shirt for your feet” as they wanted to portray the sheer comfort this shoe was promising to its users.
It was Nike Presto that tried to simplify the shoe fitting process. Before its launch, every shoe came with a numerical label that signified its size. But Nike Presto replaced the numerical labels with simple alphabets (S, M, L, and XL) which didn’t really catch on.
Nike Air Yeezy – 2009
Are you a Kanye West fan? If yes, then you must already be familiar with Nike Air Yeezy. This sneaker was developed by Nike in collaboration with Kanye West. It was the first-ever non-athlete collaboration from Nike. There are two different versions of the Nike Air Yeezy – the Air Yeezy” (2009), and the Air Yeezy II (2012 & 2014).
Kanye West worked closely with Nike Creative Director Mark Smith to come up with the design. In an interview, the duo stated that they took inspiration for the design from Jordan III & IV, and Air Tech Challenge II.
The Nike Air Yeezy went through a thorough testing process before it was revealed to the buyers. Different positions for the midsole and the outsole were tried before they settled with the one we see today.
The Nike Air Yeezy 1 worn by Kanye West on his 2008 Grammys performance was auctioned and sold at a whopping $1.8 million. It was an influential shoe before West switched his allegiance to Adidas. The current price tag has often had people wondering why are Yeezys so Expensive? We detail this too!
Nike Kukini – 2000
The Nike Kukini was first launched back in the year 2000. Immediately after its release, the shoe quickly became a cult classic. Many sneaker experts compare this shoe with Air Tuned Max, which is a credit in itself.
The Nike Kukini is known for its laid-back edges. These shoes can be worn on beaches, or even on race tracks. Nike Kukini was the first-ever shoe that used breathable mesh as its dominant material.
Also, this shoe combined the mesh structure with synthetic materials that come with a quick-dry feature. It comes with a support system that has a webbed structure. It was yet another example of Nike pushing the boundaries.
Nike Pocket Knife
The Pocket Knife is a popular running shoe from Nike. This shoe took inspiration from the 1998 ACG Pocket Knife. It comes with high flexibility and ease of use. To enhance the comfort of runners, the Nike Pocket Knife shoe used an interlocking, double-layered webbing system. The stretch upper features down string lacing.
On both sides of the tongue, you will see small elastic paneling. For higher flexibility, the shoe features rectangular traction patterns on its body.
Nike Woven – 2000
Nike Woven was first launched back in the year 2000. These brilliant shoes came from the creative mind of Mike Aveni.
It is a popular running shoe from Nike and was the first-ever handmade running shoe from the company. The exterior of this running shoe was made using rubber and woven nylon. Thanks to the materials used, the Woven can ensure a perfect fit and higher elasticity for comfort.
Nike Woven was first launched in Japan. After it received positive feedback, this shoe was then launched in the USA and Europe. The heel of this running shoe features Zoom Air technology. Due to the limited supply, it has become a high-value shoe for modern-day collectors.
Nike Mayfly – 2003
Nike Mayfly was first launched back in the year 2003. It was introduced as a flexible running shoe for women only. Since then, it picked up momentum, and it is now receiving a complete revamp with the Nike Mayfly Woven model.
The Nike Mayfly was named after a sea insect by the same name. This shoe was designed to have short longevity as according to a rough estimation, this shoe will only last for a maximum of 100 kilometers.
The upper portion of this shoe had a printed texture that resembled that layout of the membrane of Mayfly. Being manufactured using only a single strand of nylon string, the Nike Mayfly weighed only 135 grams. Paula Radcliffe, a renowned athlete, was directly involved with the development of this shoe.
Nike Free Trail 5.0 – 2005
The Nike Free Trail 5.0 comes with a breathable mesh upper layer. It features a perforated suede overlay. Thanks to all these features the Nike Free Trail 5.0 was able to offer the highest level of comfort.
An amenable rubber sole is used on the Nike Free Trail 5.0. This sole allows the shoe to mimic the slightest foot movement and adjust its position. This shoe is an amalgamation of style, comfort, and sporty look.
Thanks to its unique design, this shoe will look good with any type of outfit.
Nike Zoom Moire – 2006
The Nike Zoom Moire was first launched back in the year 2006. Nike Zoom Moire was the first-ever shoe that could connect with your iPod. Nike also used the tagline ‘The First Shoe to Talk To iPod’ to describe it.
People might argue that this shoe doesn’t deserve the title of “Retro Classic”, but it deserves credit for looking at sneakers in a new way.
Incorporating an iPod in a shoe made sense as the mp3 player market was just picking up pace. After Steve Jobs’ ‘1000 songs in your pocket’ speech, the market was already hooked on it.
With Nike Zoom Moire, people could enjoy their morning walks while listening to music without having to hold an mp3 player in their hands. It didn’t catch on but you always have to appreciate a company trying to push the boundaries.
Nike Considered BB – 2007
The Nike Considered BB was first launched in 2007. It was made using materials that were found within a 200 miles radius of the main Nike Factory. This helped Nike reduce their carbon footprint. Furthermore, Nike reduced the use of solvents by 80% when making this particular shoe.
Nike teamed up with tanneries that had pledged to recycle the water used for washing the leather. After the washing is complete, the water comes out of the tannery with a high concentration of toxins.
When this water ends up in the nearby oceans, it can pose a serious threat to the local wildlife. Nike went even further as the Considered BB only vegetable-based colors.
The upper layer of the shoe is made using polyester, and hemp. The outer sole of this shoe is interlocked with the mid-sole, thus eliminating the need for toxic leather adhesive. The shoes are now very rare and fetch a high price at auction.
A Bathing Ape x Adidas Super Ape Star – 2000
An original Bathing Ape X Adidas Super Ape Star can be found at a price range of $700-$800 on Amazon, or eBay. It is an athletic shoe that is made using pure leather. This shoe was the first manufacture back in the year 2000 with its production continuing until 2009.
This shoe was the result of a collaborative effort between Adidas, and Bathing Ape. The Super Ape Star was the first-ever shoe that came out of this collaboration.
It tried to imitate a classic Run-DMC look with leather branding, and a suede upper. The initial super Ape Star resembled a regular running shoe but later they also released a mid-top variation.
Adidas teamed up with Bathing Ape again in 2011. They came up with the B-Side line of shoes.
UNDFTD x Air Jordan IV – 2005
The UNDFTD x Air Jordan IV is a popular sneaker model among every diehard sneaker lover. Since its launch, it has dropped a new variation every year. The variations are mainly in terms of new colorways. Every new style that came out to date has been a major hit.
The UNDFTD x Air Jordan IV has different designs depending on who was the collaborator for that project. For instance, the Mark Wahlberg x Air Jordan had a green color and had a price tag of $100,000. Only 30 units came out for this particular variation.
Another popular variation was the Eminem x Carhartt x Air Jordan 4. There are only several people who got to see this model in person. This particular shoe was launched back in the year 2015. It was only offered to a handful of Eminem’s family members. Due to high demand, 10 units of this shoe were put on auction on eBay.
And then there is the UNDEFEATED x Air Jordan 4. It was the first time ever that Adidas agreed to collaborate with a boutique sneaker shop. Only 72 pairs of this shoe were manufactured. The UNDFTD x Air Jordan silhouette is probably the most popular 2000s sneaker.
Converse Skateboarding CTS Lo – 2008
The Converse Skateboarding CTS Lo was first launched back in the year 2008. CTS is short for Chuck Taylor Skate. It is a low-top sneaker. This particular shoe was popular among the skateboarding community.
To make skateboarding safer, the Converse Skateboarding CTS Lo featured extra padding on the collar area. It also features a foam tongue and insole.
The upper part of the CTS lo uses suede. The side panels on this shoe are made using rubber. It is also available in a CTS mid-low variation.
ESPO x Nike Air Force II – 2004
By 2004, Nike was fully aware that a huge part of its brand appeal was working in collaboration with other artists. By this time they’d also worked out that they should go beyond working with just sports stars.
Their collaboration with Stephen Powers, AKA ESPO, was another great example. It was a bold design that featured clear paneling which is highly unique in the sneaker world but the trend soon caught on.
Despite that unique design, the sneakers still had immense popularity. The love for the shoe led to the “Invisible Woman AF1s” but its lack of demand showed that you can’t pull the same trick twice.
Creative Recreation Cesario Low
The Creative Recreation Cesario Low is available in a wide range of color variations. You can buy it in red, navy, grey, black, smoke, and others. There is no doubt that this is a stunning sneaker with a beautiful design.
It features a synthetic upper and durable leather while still giving you the breathability that you need. For ease of use, the Creative Recreation Cesario Low features a large hook-and-loop strap which is a dominant part of its design.
While the design is great, it was also an important moment for independent shoemakers. It showed that you didn’t need to be a huge brand to make a beautiful and popular shoe.
Supreme x Nike SB Delta Force ¾ – 2004
The Supreme x Nike SB Delta Force ¾ was first released back in 2004. This shoe was a product collaboration between Supreme and Nike Skateboarding. According to many, the SD Delta Force ¾ is undoubtedly the most underrated shoe from the Supreme x Nike collaboration.
This shoe was launched in three different monochromatic color pallets. It comes with a padded ankle collar, gum outsole, lace eyelet, and reflective tongue. All three variations of this shoe are still available at their original retail price.
VA x Adidas ZX 9000 A to ZX
The VA x Adidas ZX 9000 A to ZX belongs to the ADIDAS AZX Series of footwear from Adidas. It is designed for making the lives of runners easy. VA is an abbreviation for various artists and the company teamed up with a shop for every letter of the alphabet, hence the ‘a to zx’ in the name.
Even though these running shoes were produced in limited quantity, they still have a high demand among sneakerheads. This shoe has multiple variations which were developed by 20+ collaborative partners and Adidas.
From a quick glance it should be evident that the best sought after 2000s sneakers came from Nike and this is to be expected since the company continue to innovate, create quality shoes and market in unique ways. The majority of these sneakers can be found with some quick online searches, so be sure to add your favourite to the rotation!
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