12 Old School Nike Sneakers That Deserve a Resurrection

nike air force sts mobile
The Nike Air Force STS basketball sneakers photographed for LIFE magazine, 1989 / Henry Groskinsky/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images

Nike has remade a lot of shoes in its brief existence as a company, but there’s always room to do more. Some of its models from the '90s, '80s and even the late '70s have been largely forgotten about—especially in its tennis department. Some of them are just begging to come back and we’ve got a good idea of which ones should.

Here are the 12 forgotten models we’d like to see Nike retro soon. Please?!

Sole Archive/Instagram

Zoom Haven

This old Nike piece launched in 1999 as part of the brand’s Alpha Project initiative combining innovative tech in shoes with sleek design from across the brand. This was one of their high performance runners. It packaged technology with a sleek design and would work really well today from both a performance and visual standpoint.

Fred Springfield/Instagram

Air Force III

Nike basketball’s Air Force III dropped in 1988 and is one of the brand’s earliest basketball models. It was heavy and high, but they look so good. The iconic "Force" logo on its wide tongue is something you never forget. This shoe is coming back in a big way with different colors and new tech.

Kisk Kash/Instagram

Air Tuned Max

If you like the Air Max Deluxe that recently dropped again, you’ll love this one. The Air Tuned Max dropped in 1999. This shoe was released just ahead of the Air Max Plus era and featured a full-length air system, including in the heel. This was an innovation that really pushed the Air family forward for Nike.


Air Epic

An original Tinker Hatfield design, the Epic dropped in 1985 as a runner for Nike. This shoe doesn’t have a bunch of frills or design perks that come with it—it just looks damn good. It’s been redone a few times, but bringing back the original design would be perfect for Nike.


Nike Air Max 2

For all the Air Max love we’ve seen over the last two years, Nike still hasn’t brought back the Air Max 2. This one dropped back in 1994 and captures the bulky '90s aesthetic that has worked so well in 2018. Industry insider Bubble Koppe reports that the brand is planning on retroing the sneaker in 2019, but nothing has been made official yet by Nike. Let’s cross our fingers for this one.

Sole Bloc/Instagram

Hurache Light

This is an update on the Hurache that you love to wear so much. It comes with a lighter, more snug fit as well as more of a blank canvas for an upper that can make for some really clean designs. This one dropped back in 1993.

On Foot Archives/Instagram

Mac Attack

This is one of Nike’s most underrated and best silhouettes. It dropped in 1984 as the signature model for tennis player John McEnroe. It was way ahead of its time with its combined mesh and leather upper. The shoe never truly came back, but the Nike Manor is basically the same model without the swoosh. It just doesn’t carry the same swag.

Antonio Moraleda/Instagram

All England

This is another classic tennis shoe from Nike that dropped in 1986. It’s simple—a blank leather upper that allows you to do whatever you want to it. These would make for some great beaters in 2018. And for all of my creatives out there, you could really have fun with this one.

Bubble Koppe/Instagram

Air Zoom Citizen

This classic was dropped in 1999 as another running model for the brand. It was overshadowed a bit by other runner models like the Talaria, but this shoe came in some really sleek designs and cool colors that would work really well today.


Air Max Uptempo 95

This 1995 classic definitely needs to come back. We see a lot of the Air Max Uptempo’s from ’94 and ’97, but the '95 model might be the most versatile. The design is flawless—it isn’t too busy on its upper or in its midsole like the other two and comes in just as many sleek colorways. I’m just saying.


Waffle II

The original Waffle has come back, but the Waffle II is really where Nike could turn some heads. This one dropped in 1980 and as an upgraded version of the Air Waffle. It might be more of a skater today than a running shoe, but that’s just fine. Its design fits right in with the times.



This shoe dropped in 1982 and laid the foundation for the All England and the Mac Attack as a tennis trainer. It was an early model that pushed the brand forward toying with metallic color schemes and nubuck leather, but it looks good. It’s a minimalist’s shoe, which offers the wearer a lot of versatility.

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