If you were lucky enough to live/survive the 90s as a teenager, then And1 and their trash talking t-shirts advertised in the backs of magazines like Slam, were everything. Up until 1993 when And1 was launched, trash talking was reserved for the basketball court. The faceless characters delivered zings like “Do you have a lighter? You’re about to get smoked.” and “Give and Go. Give up and go home.” The crazy part is because the internet was such a different place back then, that the fact that they started making sneakers a few years later, was completely unexpected. And they somehow managed to sign stars like Stephon Marbury and Kevin Garnett, was insane.
Of course, the modern-day internet folklore has come to focus on the And 1 Tai Chi and the 2000 NBA Slam Dunk Contest. Vince Carter, Toronto Raptors star and at the time, one of the most exciting players in the game laced up a red and white pair, which solidified the And1 Tai Chi as one of the most storied sneakers of the modern era. In 1999 when the And1 Tai Chi originally released, retail was $75. Thinking back about other shoes in the era, Foamposites, Jordans, etc., the price point and lightweight design made the shoes one of the most competitive shoes on the market. Add to that a color scheme that seems to look good in nearly every color combination, it’s no wonder the Tai Chi is making a come back in 2015.
Nick Engvall is a sneaker enthusiast with over 15 years of experience in the footwear business. He has written for publications such as Complex, Sole Collector, and Sneaker News, helped companies like Eastbay, Finish Line, Foot Locker, StockX, and Stadium Goods better connect with their consumers, has an addiction to burritos and Sour Patch Kids, and owns way too many shoes for his own good.