Sneakerpedia x Sneaker News Editors’ “Grails”

November 13, 2012 BY

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Right around a month ago, Sneaker News teamed up with the world’s largest online sneaker collection, Sneakerpedia, in an effort to give you a little bit of background on the personal tastes of the folks who make this site tick. We whittled the most cherished sneakers in our personal collections down to individual top 20 lists, bringing you some background on why those sneakers meant so much to us. But of course, as every collector knows, on the flip side of all our rewarding conquests and acquisitions, there will always be the ones that got away.

This latest edition of our Sneakerpedia team-up is the tale of those models, the ones that we never got our hands on or that we had and may never find again. Mind you this isn’t necessarily a definitive list of our ‘grails’, but rather a compilation of our most personally lusted after releases from amongst the impressive Sneakerpedia selection. Stay with us after the jump for the Top 5 Sneakerpedia sneaker grail lists from our SN editors and let us know if you’ve got any in common with us in the comments below. If you didn’t see your personal favorites in here, head over to the Sneakerpedia archives to see what kind of long-lost heat people are holding onto and feel free to sign up to start uploading your own treasures now.


5. Nike Air Trainer Max 93

Not the flashiest selection from Nike’s cavernous archive of forgotten treasures, but the Air Trainer Max 93 deserves some recognition nonetheless. The shoe had a more traditional and simplistic design than some of its more technical Air Trainer predecessors, but its sleek silhouette and graceful lines more than made up for it. I’m usually not a big fan of the half Air bag look, but this midsole is a definite exception and helped the shoe’s appearance and comfort immeasurably. The Trainer Max 93 also holds some special significance in relation to my personal sneaker history as it was the shoe I wore the first day of my freshman year of high school – although not the one pictured here (which I definitely prefer), but the better known white/light grey/lavender colorway.

Photo: Josh Cole on Sneakerpedia

4. Nike Air Flight High

The Nike Air Flight High is another shoe that marks a notable milestone in my early days of sneaker obsession. It was the first shoe I ever owned that had a visible Air unit. The visible Nike Air bag is almost a given at this point and we take them for granted, but when the concept was first introduced in the late 80’s, the notion of a clear window in your shoe that was filled with this magical thing called “AIR” made it seem like we were only a matter of months away from flying cars and robot house servants. I remember taking my crispy white/royal blue Flight Highs out of the box and holding them up close to my eye so I could have the futile pleasure of watching t.v. through the sole of my shoe. “AIR” was quite the enticing novelty and it had me so intrigued that I eventually popped one of the bubbles with a sharpened pencil to see what would happen, thinking perhaps there would be a loud explosion or some sort of space age ooze or mist would leak out. To my disappointment, nothing much at all happened other than being stuck wearing a left shoe that hissed every time I took a step.

Photo: SNEAKERQUEEN on Sneakerpedia

3. Nike Mac Attack

Oh Nike Manor, why couldn’t you have turned out more like your father? Earlier this year, Nike Sportswear introduced the Manor, a new lifestyle model with a design that borrows heavily from John McEnroe’s 1984 signature tennis shoe, the Mac Attack. While the Swoosh-less, vulc-soled Manor looked halfway decent, it brought with it the appalling assumption that it may be the closest thing we’re gonna get to a re-relase of the original. Unlike pretty much all the other choices on this Top 5 list, this shoe could actually work well in today’s market in its original form. Note to Nike:  There aren’t that many true timeless bangers left in the “never-been-retroed” arsenal, so I hope these are inching their way to the on-deck circle as we speak.

Photo: Josh Cole on Sneakerpedia

2. Nike Air Huarache International

When I first saw the original Air Huarache runner, it was love at first sight. It was the coolest, most futuristic shoe I had ever seen and I wanted a pair bad. Unfortunately it wasn’t in the cards for me at the time and I never got my hands on a pair until the retros in the early 2000’s. My consolation prize back then however, came a year later with the barely cared about Air Huarache International – a not quite as cool, but still pretty solid follow-up to the gamechanging original. The Huarache International didn’t quite pack the same wow-factor as the first version, but it still had the branded neoprene sockliner and a fantastic color scheme that made for a great-looking shoe when all was said and done. Aside from me and probably six other people out there, I doubt there’s any real demand for these to make a retro return any time soon, but I’d sure love to get my feet into a wearable pair come summertime.

Photo: Josh Cole on Sneakerpedia

1. Nike Air Tech Challenge IV

Back in the dark ages before the internet and sneaker blogs, there were only a handful of ways to get info on the latest releases. Before search engines satisfied all our fleeting curiosities, the most steady and reliable source of sneaker info was to vigilantly keep your eyes to the ground and check out people’s feet. To this day, I remember walking down the hall in school one morning behind someone wearing the Air Tech Challenge IV. All I could see was the color-splashed heels, but my mind was already blown. I had to know more, so I sped up the hallway and approached some kid I had never spoken to before to ask him what his shoes were and where I could find them. All he knew was that they were the new Agassi’s and now at least I had some info to build off when I called every sporting goods store in the county with no success.

That was the harsh reality of the cruelly fruitful early 90’s sneaker era. There was no such thing as a retro, so shoes came and went, and if you didn’t strike up a conversation with a stranger to ask about their shoes, you may have never seen them again or ever even known what you just saw. We have it pretty good now with the abundant availability of information on all our sneaker desires and queries, but what’s not so great is that this incredible shoe has still never been re-released and I’ve still never had them on my feet despite all these miraculous advancements in technology. Without a doubt, these are the number one target of my most wanted list and a candle will be burning in my Air Tech Challenge IV shrine until they’re mine.

Photo: Josh Cole on Sneakerpedia

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Filed under: Air Jordan Basketball New Balance Nike Air Max Nike Huarache Nike Retro Nike SB Running Trainer Vintage


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