Over the years, I’ve learned to live with the tweaks and slight decreases in the quality of most retro kicks. Yet, I refuse to when it comes to this pair of Nike Air Max2 CB94s. A fringe top 10 all time shoe for me, I haven’t owned a pair of these since the early 2000s and was hyped to secure a pair when the retro was confirmed.
To anyone still on the hunt for these, temper your expectations. In terms of the small stuff, the embossed logo on the heel of the shoe has been replaced with a heat-pressed white material, and the Air bag in the heel is purple instead of clear. Minor issues that can certainly be overlooked for any non-OCD sneakerhead. Unfortunately, it gets worse.
I didn’t expect the white leather to be tumbled like it was years ago, but it’s been replaced by something else entirely. It’s not even synthetic Dunk leather, but more of a matte material that’s going to be a magnet for dirt and a pain to clean. Moving onto the inner bootie, a lot of it was cut out almost to the insole, and the heel portion is barely flush with the outer heel of the shoe. It took me a good five minutes per shoe to squeeze my damn feet in without taking the whole back end with me. Supremely frustrating.
On foot, the shoes look fine but I would urge those with wider feet to size up. And invest in a shoe horn. The black nubuck was passable and the mesh inserts were still present in this release, which redeems the shoe just a bit. Not enough for me to keep them.
To be fair, the shape of the shoe is still solid. From afar it’s passable but for anyone with fond memories of the first retros of the 94s might be in for a bit of a disappointment. With that said, from here on out its caveat emptor. I’ll be returning my pair to cop some remastered Forces. The first time I’ve ever had to return coveted Nikes due to quality issues, and hopefully the last.