As you all may have heard, Nike’s performance basketball sneakers aren’t flying off the shelves the way they did in the ’90s and early 2000s. Unless it’s a limited colorway or collaboration with a popular brand, you can pretty much find any and all versions of your favorite players’ signature sneakers on store shelves; and if you wait long enough you can find them under retail.
Every year in recent history the same thing seems to happen… the sneaker community gets excited by the mystery and initial reveal of the newest model. But, that excitement soon wears off for those not planning to rock them on the hardcourt. Nike has increased the marketing for their signature lines too. The LeBron Watch releases are a great example of quality performance based Nike Basketball, but due to their limited quantities the only market that seems to get a boost is the resell market. I remember a time when performance basketball shoes were “must-have” items; but now they have taken a back seat to the more streetwear approved runners and trainers.
There seems to be a ray of light for Nike Basketball though and that light is the retro sector. It seems like the brand has found a way to increase sales in their basketball division with retros of fan favorites (not including Jordans) such as the Kobe 1 Protro. This sneaker came back with a bang! With classic colorways and timeless stories (Kobe’s 81 point performance) to match, the Kobe 1 has been a hit with sneakerheads who remember the Black Mamba wearing them and those seeing them for the first time. It also doesn’t hurt that this Nike teamed up with UNDEFEATED to produce some pretty incredible colorways. Plus sneakerheads were given a lighter, upgraded version of the original 2005 release. That’s not all, we’ll also be graced with the release of a Kobe 4 Protro this year!
Keeping up with the trend of releasing retros from their successful signature lines, Nike has been slowly giving us some of the most sought after LeBron classics starting with his first signature shoe, the Air Zoom Generation. Now we’re being treated to the LeBron 3 in original and player exclusive colorways too! As you’d imagine they sell out immediately making it hard for true fans to feast. With this current trend, do you think that Nike should focus their efforts on bringing back classic models with updated tech since they are proven to sell? Maybe that’s not the answer, but it sure would be cool to see these classics reimagined with updated materials.