Struck by the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, legendary designer and current Swoosh VP of Special Projects Tinker Hatfield discusses the building’s exposure of its inner constructional components inspiring him to do likewise with the air bubble, an element hidden in kicks up until that point. At the time, the shoe company’s marketing director scoffed at the idea but apparently later reversed his stance, as the design element was featured prominently in ensuing ad campaigns. And so, it became a staple in most of Nike’s biggest and timeless shoes down the years (AJ III, AM 95, etc.).
The idea of uncovering the unseen would later be a key idea behind the Shox system in the early ‘00s as well, taking it a few steps further in leaving the “springs” totally open. And as revolutionary (especially in terms of performance) as the first Shox—the BB4—was, the technology didn’t meet its perfect aesthetic match until the Nike Shox Stunner.
A personal favorite, they remain the only kicks I laced up consistently for my hardwood assaults that didn’t bear a Jumpman.
In a period when every shoe has seemingly been brought back, the Stunners, along with the criminally ignored Ultraposites, unfortunately remain un-retroed, most likely due to poor sales and costly molds of the shoe (a la Foamposites). Yet, numbers aside, what made the Air Max 1’s worthy of so many reissues is also why the Stunners warrant at least a second coming, too. Get on it, Nike.