NIKEiD has exploded from its initial clunky and slow infrastructure into a highly desirable, limited-run option for sneaker fans to deck out the latest Nike Basketball signature sneakers or the newest Air Max models, acting out their own fantasies like Tinker Hatfield.
Unfortunately for sneaker fans, new models to illustrate their artistic ability upon are restricted to general releases and mostly newer silhouettes. What would happen if Nike and Jordan Brand decided to let consumers run amok and release for a week, or even a day, some of the most beloved and demanded sneakers from throughout their history online for the iD treatment?
With the website marking its 15th anniversary this year, it seems a better time than ever to dream about what shoes sneakerheads salivate over appearing on NIKEiD and which kicks could make Phil Knight’s wallet even fatter.
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15. Nike Zoom Revis
An underrated and slept-on trainer, Darrelle Revis’s signature shoe made its way to store shelves, and because of his ACL injury the same year, to clearance racks in 2012. With Revis back in the news recently after singing a contract with the New England Patriots, Bostonians and sneakerheads alike would be rushing to make some red, white and blue colorways of Nike’s most recent football signature model. Bold iD users could even opt for a floral print or South Beach scheme to give it that Revis Island feel.
14. Nike Air Pippen I
Scottie Pippen would no longer have to be relegated to a second fiddle role, both in terms of basketball ability and in the sneaker game, to Michael Jordan, with a popularity boost stemming from his first signature series appearing on NIKEiD. “I wanna be like Mike.” Fans can make the Air Pippen I Like Mike by designing some classic Air Jordan colorways on the model, whether it be Laneys, Grapes, or some other scheme entirely.
13. Nike Air Zoom Flight ’98 “The Glove”
On the heels of him being announced as an inductee of the Basketball Hall of Fame 2013, Gary Payton’s first signature shoe saw a handful of retro releases in 2013, as The Glove’s zipped up outer layer served as a precursor to later successful sneakers like the Air Jordan XX8. That layer, worn either up or down, creates endless possibilities for sneaker fans to devise different looks. Payton disciples can craft a sleek, black external cover and then hide some outlandish and vibrant creations under that, ready to be unsheathed whenever the temperature hits about 70 degrees.
12. Nike Air Max 97
3M material? Nike fans would drape themselves in it akin to George Costanza in Seinfeld with velvet. The Air Max 97 was an innovation upon the already experimental tendencies of the 95 model, as sneakerheads would now be able to do the same at their whim nearly two decades later. To match the bright designs that would come to define later running shoes, a vibrant colorway in the vein of the modern South Beach would work, as it also coincides with the (then named) Florida Marlins and their 1997 World Series Championship.
11. Nike Air Zoom Generation
A bidding war erupted between Nike and adidas to sign LeBron James to a sneaker deal upon his graduation from high school. Nike won the battle and ultimately won the war as well, as LeBron models of sneakers brought in nearly $300 million for the company in its last fiscal year. It all started here. While the Wheat colorway stands as the most famous, it would be great for LeBron fans to recreate famous colorways that became staples of signature line later on such as Dunkman, Swingman, South Beach, Miami Nights, and Summit Lake Hornets, on the first shoe to properly display LBJ to the sneaker community at-large.
10. Nike Air Max CB34
Charles Barkley may not be a role model, but sneakerheads can feel free to be their own by replicating Chuck’s signature kicks in any design they see fit. Beyond the ability to craft sneakers representing all of the teams Barkley played for, from the Auburn Tigers to the Philadelphia 76ers to the Phoenix Suns to the Houston Rockets, one of the finer touches of NIKEiD has been the ability to put inscriptions or wording onto customized sneakers. Wouldn’t everyone be clamoring to have “TURRRRIBLE!” or “GINOOOOOBILI!” written on a pair of Barkleys?
9. Nike Zoom Kobe IV
With the Prelude series bringing Kobe Bryant’s original run of signature sneakers back into the limelight, it seems fitting to have the Kobe IV on NIKEiD, as it marked a distinctive change for both his shoe line and for Kobe himself. As Nike changed the Kobes to a low-top silhouette, Kobe transformed into the true Black Mamba, capturing his first title in the post-Shaquille O’Neal-era for the Los Angeles Lakers. With how wild some of the colorways got for the Prelude retro releases that hit shelves over the last few months, sneakerheads would definitely have no shortage of material to go off when constructing their own low top Mambas.
8. Nike LeBron VIII
Akin to the way that a change in sneaker design coincided with a change in play for Kobe Bryant, a transformation seized LeBron James as he took both his talents and his signature shoe line to South Beach in 2010. As he began a streak of NBA Finals appearances, Nike catapulted the LeBrons into the top-tier of signature shoe stars along with Michael Jordan and Penny Hardaway with the LeBron VIIIs. While this is the model of LeBron’s sneaker line when consumers began to see an innumerable amount of colorways, it still stands as the premier model of the Nike with the longest current run of personalized kicks. Nike needs to make resellers cringe by allowing sneakerheads to make their own versions of the South Beach VIIIs at will.
7. Air Jordan V
The fifth installment in the Air Jordan line saw a resurgence in 2013, with both OG (Grape), fan-favorite (Laney), and new colorways (Fresh Prince) getting released. The boldness of the aforementioned Fresh Prince design, as well as the 3Lab5 colorway from last year, proved there is room for innovation and bold endeavors even with classics like the Air Jordan V. Adding in a suede or 3M option, as seen on the eternally classic Raging Bull Pack, may have older sneakerheads crying fowl, but fans who missed on some of these original fantastic releases would be eager to drop their hard-earned cash to attempt to replicate and top some of the greatest Jordans ever.
6. Nike Cortez
Even before Kendrick Lamar professed his love of white tees and pairs of Nike Cortez during his explosive guest verse on “Control,” the Cortez stood as the model which all future Nikes would be judged, as it is essentially the first model to be made, a reimagining of the “Moon Shoes” worn in 1972 and the Waffle Trainer that came a few short years later. Hypebeasts would surely gravitate to customizing a few pairs to appease K-Dot, but fans truly intrigued by the billion-dollar behemoth that Nike evolved into would welcome the ability to design the OG Nike running shoe.
5. Nike Shox VC 2
With a renewed influence on the Air Max models of running shoes over the course of the last half-decade, the Nike Shox have seemingly been eschewed as a marquee product for Nike. Continuing to do so would be a mistake, as the technology behind the Shox led to one of the most memorable moments in United States basketball history, as Vince Carter launched the posterizing dunk to end all posterizing dunks on the unsuspecting French big man Frederic Weis. Updating the sneaker with a few variants of Olympic colorways, as well as purple/red design paying homage to Vinsanity’s time spent as a Toronto Raptor, would do well to commemorate the man still hanging around as a successful NBA player.
4. Air Jordan XVII Low
MJ’s post-retirement models, going from the Air Jordan XV and on, have gotten the shaft when it comes to retro releases since His Airness hung up his laces for good, infuriating a younger sect of sneaker fans who grew up on those late-teen models, just as older Jordan lovers had done during his playing days. If Nike and Jordan Brand aren’t going to collaborate to give us a plethora of these releases every year, the least they can do is make a model or two available on NIKEiD for sneakerheads to indulge in their self-proclaimed creative genius. Starting with the low-top model of the XVIIs, which would be perfect with spring and summer creeping onward.
3. Nike Air Trainer SC II
Bo Knows NIKEiD. Just as Bo Jackson illustrated in his infamous advertisements, sneakerheads could design pairs of Jackson’s trainers for any situation they see fit. They’re in need of a football trainer? Design an Oakland Raiders colorway. Looking for something to wear on the baseball diamond? Cook up a Kansas City Royals design on the trainers. The possibilities are endless, just as Bo’s potential as an athlete was.
2. Nike KD IV
Sneakerheads wish they bought up a lifetime supply of the KD IVs before the Kevin Durant signature shoe was removed from the NIKEiD website in 2012. With later models of Kevin Durant’s kicks resembling generic basketball sneakers, the IVs represent the apex of Durant’s still young signature line. There was a simplistic element that made the sneaker timeless, but the strap going across and stopping short of the toe box seemingly brought a futuristic component to the design. That clash essentially summarizes Durant’s style as a player: an old school shooter able to score from anywhere on the court with the handles of a point guard, but in the body of a freak of nature from outer space. Nike doesn’t even need to make new models of KDs if they choose not to do, as bringing these kicks to NIKEiD would suffice just fine. Perfection can’t be topped.
1. Air Jordan XI
Was there anything else that could have realistically been the top choice? Nike can end the countless fights, lines, Twitter bots, and, unfortunately, deaths that stem from the annual December release of a pair of Jordan XIs by making the shoe available at all times to consumers. Some sneakerheads would surely scoff at the idea of anyone with a credit card being able to cop and sacrilegiously design some XIs, but that sort of undermines the beauty of growing up and wanting a pair of the most renown Jordans, as not everyone can go through the hassle of securing one of the few pairs that hits the shelves every holiday season. With this opportunity to allow everyone to enjoy in the majesty of the XIs, hopefully some of the feuding and violence that comes with every release of the sneaker can end. That doesn’t even get to the design possibilities! Nike’s online servers would crash the minute these hit the Internet.
Which shoes would you want to see in NIKEiD
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