Nostalgia. It’s a powerful dame.
I wanted the Nike Zoom Flights, otherwise known as “The Gloves,” so bad when they came out. The idea of an actual layered shoe and the fact Gary Payton was my favorite NBA player not married to a Juanita made these must-haves. Plus, they released during a time when Nike made Payton one of the key figures in ad campaigns (the “Fun Police” anyone?).
My mom actually bought me a pair of Gloves in middle school but the zipper broke immediately so we had to return them to the store. She was convinced they were too shoddy to invest in and wouldn’t let me swap for another pair. I can’t remember what I picked out, but I’ll never forget the despair of leaving those Zoom Flights in the store that day.
First seen on the court in 1998 as Payton’s initial sig shoe, the Zoom Flights haven’t received the retro love of other models. The last time I saw them was during GP’s short stint with the Heat and he was blessed with personal pairs to wear. Obviously, there was no getting a pair short of making a covert attempt to enter Miami’s locker room.
Fifteen years later, we meet again. The Gloves, you shall be mine.
Photos — Getty, Marqueesole